4 creative 'tricks' to keep you safe on patrol
There are so many tricks of the trade to defuse street encounters and advance investigations — what are yours?
Let’s return to creative law enforcement in 2014. This is a skill that appears to have been lost — or at least misplaced.
Sometimes it is a simple conversation to solicit a response to defuse an explosive situation. Other times it can be used to help further an investigation.
The following are things some ideas I either created or borrowed and now use in the officer survival classes I teach.
1.) The Contact Lens
Almost immediately the combative family members are looking together for the lens, which doesn’t actually exist. This also helps if an arrest needs to be done as the soon-to-be-cuffed individual is intensely involved in the search.
2.) The Ambulance Call
That’s when I remembered a scene from an old police movie. I took out my portable radio and “requested an ambulance for a horrible accident at our location.”
Then I hit the squelch button. I didn’t really make the call, but from where he was standing, it definitely appeared that I did. When he asked why the need for the ambulance, I advised him that it was being dispatched for him. At his size, the only way to stop him was a trip to the ER. He got my message.
Another time a most uncooperative individual was being aggressive and combative. He refused to remove his hands from his pockets and kept wandering around. Finally I informed him that if he moved again, he would be spending Christmas in a wheelchair (it was early December). He got my message, and the remainder of the stop went a lot smoother.
3.) The Possession Clarification
I asked him if the drugs were for him or to resell. The amount was not really up to the trafficking amount. Again I emphasized that possession was not the issue, it was his, and his answer could be for his benefit in my report. He thought about it and stated it was for personal use.
I got the confession and the conviction.
4.) No Sprechen Sie English
They were yelling at me in English and I immediately told them — in perfect English — that I do not speak English.
They looked at each other. When they looked back at me they were staring at my drawn H&K full-size USP .45 caliber semi-auto duty weapon.
Sheepishly they placed themselves prone on the ground as I simply waited for my backups to arrive.
What About You?
It is about obtaining a successful conclusion to the encounter where no one gets hurt — and at the same time remain fully aware that the situation might turn deadly. You must be mentally prepared to do what you are trained to do if it becomes a “Not Today” moment.
Add your own creative “tricks” in the comments area below.
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