It really comes down to those two options - either the suspect will cooperate by way of listening to reason or the application of force. Either they go willingly or you and possibly other officers take them under control. Sometimes it's a combination. A seemingly cooperative suspect will suddenly resist or attack. Likewise, a suspect bent on resistance will cooperate based on a display of force. But those two options - reason and force are at the center of suspect encounters.
That means that you have to be good at the application of both on the street.
Reason and Reasonableness
Conveying reason to suspect(s) via tactical communications is crucial to officer safety and survival. It is simply not tactically sound to be confrontational. It leads to more aggression not less which results in more frequent uses of force and possible injury and increases the possibility of citizen complaints of rudeness.
It is my belief that many instances of officer's verbal loss of control are attributable to inability to handle the fight or flight reflex. The officer is unfamiliar or cannot deal with the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) reaction (fight or flight) and the resultant chemical cascade that takes place within the brain and body. Quite simply they get amped up and shoot their mouths off. As an example most times you simply can't out yell a yelling person into cooperation.
Tactical communications first of all mandates control on your part. Imparting a professional and non-aggressive demeanor does much to reduce aggression and tension. This is not to confuse readiness with non-aggression. Since the majority of communication is non-verbal you must project that you are indeed capable and ready to use force if necessary but you're under control.
For instance, you're arresting a suspect who is actively resisting at a shopping mall in front of a group of citizens. Blitzing that person with knee strikes to the outside of the thigh while communicating, "Stop resisting! Get on the ground!" is more likely to result in no complaints than profanity laced commands.
Control of the SNS response is based to a large extent on experience. Maintaining control of your psychological, emotional and physical responses to fear comes from understanding that these changes take place in your body and immediately controlling them via breathing and focus. Realistic training can take your body and brain there and teach you how to control your responses to stress. Street experiences if dissected via a lessons learned format (internally if it's just you or a group debrief if more officers are involved). If you or others make mistakes either tactically or via communications and don't learn from it, you're apt to repeat the same mistake again.
Of course, it's tough to reason with a drunk, mentally ill person or someone under the influence of drugs but we can write in our report that we tried and it just wasn't effective. That makes us reasonable as defined by the law. We tried non-violent means; we gave the suspect an out; we attempted to verbally persuade them to comply - they just didn't do it and they gave us no other option but to use force.
Even if it seems that talking a suspect into cooperation comes across as wimpy, remember - if it elicits control and defuses potential violence and you get to go home without injury... it's a streetwise tactic.
Tactical communication is the carrot; use of force is the stick.
The majority of subjects and suspects we come into contact with comply. They comply with our verbal orders or with our display of force but we must always train and prepare for those that do not. We must be good at applying force. We get hurt or worse when we are not good at using force.