Reason and Force

Suspects either comply based on reason or are taken into control by way of force; you must be good at applying both.

Being good at force means all facets and manner of force. Good at joint-locks, pressure points, empty hand striking, applying pepper spray, using a baton or electronic control device and it certainly means that we must attain and retain competency with deadly force. We must practice and maintain proficiency at getting our firearms into play and being able to achieve fight stopping accuracy on target. Being good at force cannot and will not be achieved only by department defensive tactics training or firearms qualification events. Qualifications are a display of minimum performance levels not an indicator of readiness. Sorry folks, if you want to be good at hitting, sticking or shooting you must invest your own time and effort in a serious training regime to achieve it. There are no easy ways or short cuts.

Regardless of the vocation, professionals read, study and prepare for their business. They anticipate, pay attention to trends, are attuned to warning signs, and are ready with pre-practiced responses. Law enforcement professionals are able and capable of communicating with a suspect and establishing control through non-violent means but they are also masters of the physical aspects of the job. Armed with the tools and prepared to apply force to control they are ready for the most violent of resistors.

Whether you're presence on scene in uniform is enough to elicit control of a situation or whether you must strike a suspect, at the root, it is either reason or force that makes it happen. Train and prepare for the application of both because it is the suspect's threats of attack or resistance or our perception of attack/resistance that directs our pre-emptive or responsive police actions.

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