Monday, June 29, 2015

PD's focus on verbal techniques and confllict avoidance/resolution

After every major crisis involving excessive force by police agencies decide to get serious about conflict avoidance/resolution and verbal techniques.  The current scenario is being repeated.  A number of issues are raised. First is the debate between those who argue for 'community-oriented' policing and those who favor more aggressive 'broken windows' or 'quality of life' polcing  Among the other issues are officer safety, officer role and officer discretion.
Some officers are afraid that too much emphasis on conflict avoidance, etc. will compromise officer safety.  Some officer don't see this as their role. They see themselves as 'crime fighters' and not 'social workers.'  Finally, is the discretion issue.  Officers and some experts assert that officers need discretion on how to handle situations, not one-shoe fits all.  Police critics and some administrators are wary of such discretion.  The want uniformity in the handling of all cases.

A number of years ago, I taught 'verbal judo' in a police academy.  Some of you may remember that verbal technique system.

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