POLICE Magazine

NOV 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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16 POLICE NOVEMBER 2018 can be no doubt later that they were talking to the real-deal po- lice. And you can get his or her name early, while things are still fairly low-key. Explain why you came over, why you are there, what you are about to do, and why you are about to do it: "I pulled over because it looked like you were having a problem with X, Y, or Z." "e reason I stopped you was…" or "What I need you to do for me is …" And then Ask for their compliance, which, of course, you may or may not get. If they don't comply, remember that people don't think, speak, or listen well under stress, and even a routine conversation with a cop can raise their pulse rates. In this case, repeat the Explain and Ask steps again, knowing that you may need to use repetition to be fully understood. e value to this model is that it's simple for you to say, simple for them to hear and fulfill, and works best when the stakes are low. ASK-TELL-MAKE F or tougher, more volatile situations, especially with known suspects or people who are about to become suspects in your mind, you can use Ask-Tell-Make. You may or may not want to In- troduce yourself, depending on the urgency or seriousness of the situation, but you will Ask the person to comply and if they do, thank them for it. If they don't, you move to the next step, which adds a sterner tone and suggests they are near the end of your last offer of voluntary compliance. If they don't respond to Ask and Tell, Make them comply, using your full and legal authority to do so. You get a call to contact the staff at the library for help with a threatening person who appears high on drugs or alcohol, or mentally ill, but potentially combative. Let's follow along: Talking to people who are under extreme stress, or giving commands when you are, is difficult and we tend to fall back on habits where we use the same conversational patterns. Saying "Calm down!" to someone who is not calm and will not become calm just because you shouted that command is a perfect exam- ple of what not to try. Let's make a few assumptions. Most people hate being told what to do, especially if it embarrasses them in front of their peers, families, or spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. Most people are not good listeners, especially under stress, which means you usually have to repeat things you just said. And most people who think they might be arrested or actually are being arrested really don't listen too much after they see or feel your matching silver bracelets. It's this latter category that gets us into arguments as to who is "righter," at a minimum, or foot pursuits or fights, at the worst. Two models may help your field conversations. Which one you use will depend on if you are talking to cooperative people; could or could not be cooperative people; or uncooperative people. In days of old we referred to these three types as Yes-Maybe-No people. Our biggest challenge is trying not to turn Maybe people into No people, because that's what usually leads to us having to get physical. INTRODUCE-EXPLAIN-ASK O ne choice is the communications concept known as Intro- duce-Explain-Ask. is is a service-oriented approach for relatively low-stress encounters and it comes from my pal who was an East Coast police detective and now works as the director of security for a West Coast megachurch. He teaches it to his ush- ers and security staff. e model starts with Introducing yourself to the person, who at the start could be a good guy, a bad guy, a friend of the bad guy, or a witness. Let's follow along: "I'm Officer Whomever, from the Local Police Department." Followed by some version of "Who are you?" "What's your name, sir/ma'am?" "Tell me who I'm talking to here?" Your choice of tone will depend on if you're standing in front of a citizen, a gang- ster, a known crook, or a witness who you know nothing about. e benefit to this first step is two-fold: You have clearly identi- fied yourself (and badged them if you're in plainclothes), so there If they don't respond to Ask and Tell, Make them comply, using your full and legal authority to do so. Introduce-Explain-Ask is simple for someone to hear and fulfill, and works best when the stakes are low. TWO TOOLS FOR FIELD COMMUNICATIONS PHOTO: POLICE FILE PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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