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Squad stress management: How the "Q-TIP" theory works
By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University
Quit Taking It Personally (Q-TIP) is a tool to help reduce the adrenaline rush that often causes poor decision-making when officers find themselves in stressful situations (Bond, 1998).
Q-TIP theory was designed to be used as a code word to help officers stay focused when their body’s natural “fight or flight” defenses were activated. Stressful situations often cause a surge of adrenaline that can reduce an officer’s ability to think critically during heightened threats (Bond, 1998). Using the Q-TIP theory, officers can remind themselves — and their peers — to stay in control of their emotions.
When to Use Q-TIP
When fellow officers, supervisors, and dispatchers calmly say “Q-TIP” to an on-scene officer, it is an immediate reminder to remain within the laws, department policies, and protocols (Bond, 1998). Using a keyword or phrase such as “Q-TIP” during an incident can quickly remind a fellow officer not to let him or herself get caught up in the moment, but to instead rely on their muscle memory and police training (Bond, 1998).