My fear is that there ain’t nothing that can save the world. Thing is, I bet I am not alone in my fear. I wager that most people are fearful. Okay, maybe not the terrorists, who are united in their hatred for anyone in the world who do not ascribe to their way of living or their sick belief system.
So, here I go with my theory about de-escalation. It is not only a training system (Management of Aggressive Behavior, Verbal Judo and my Advanced De-Escalation Technique System), but it can, or more, it must be, a belief system, maybe even a way of life, for all of us in law enforcement and the “helping” professions.
What I mean by this is (the way I see it) the public has their own perceptions about law enforcement. So do law enforcement. When our paths intersect, these two mindsets also collide.
By now you may know that I make a living training and certifying law enforcement. Many confide in me that they often go into (hostile) neighborhoods with the genuine intent of being open, sincere and helping, but seconds after emerging from a cruiser, the person whom is in some sort of “shitstorm” of trouble or distress verbally attacks them, calls them names, and even rushes them in a way and in a manner that causes their emotions (Sympathetic Nervous System, or Flight or Fight) to spike up to the “Danger Zone (220 beats a minute or higher).”
“You play hell trying to de-escalate a dude or dudette with that kind of mentality,” one cop said to me. “I swear, I do try. But it is hell on earth.”
Which is why I am advocating again and again that law enforcement invest in de-escalation training. Studies show that more than 10-percent of the population cannot be de-escalated. This may be true, but in my point of view, de-escalation is not only about calming people and scenes, it is about being able to deal with aggression and verbal hostility in such a way and in such a manner that the officer and the civilian emerge from the interaction intact.
It is about being able to anticipate harsh and hostile attitudes and have a plan of action designed to intervene in the safest way.
It is about being able to Defuse Yourself First before managing the subject’s hostility.
It is about not taking predictable (verbal) attacks personal. Being able to depreciate the verbal icon (“Screw you, you fu**ing moron!”).
It is about Eliminating Your Ego! Ego, I think, is the most dangerous word in a cop’s vernacular. Remember: “The more ego an officer shows during a confrontation, the Less Power and Control He Can Exercise!
I have a book coming out. The Most Unnatural Act of All -De-Escalation for Law Enforcement.
Until then, stay safe and, by all means, Stay Cool While Everyone Else Is Hot! Read how to do that in future posts.