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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  The Column  >  How Would You Handle this Call?

The Column
Police and Law Enforcement News
, March 20, 2012  11:22 a.m.


One of the really unique things about law enforcement is how any given call can be handled a thousand different ways.

It's a beautiful day, and you're on patrol in a bustling suburban town when a call comes over.  You are dispatched to an intersection for a report of two men in orange jump suits wearing black hoods over their faces.  They are reportedly just standing around the intersection.

You make your way over and find the duo.  Sure enough, both are donning orange, jail-type jumpsuits and have black hoods over their faces.  One is on his knees with his hands behind his back as if he were bound.  The other is holding a sign opposing the war.  It's clear that they are protesters.

Other than showing their sign to passing motorists, they are not bothering anyone.

How would you handle this call?

The video below shows this exact call being handled but not from the perspective of the officer.  It was shot by one of the two men. 

Take a moment to watch the video:


How do you think the officer did?

Judging by the most of the comments under the video (on the YouTube site), he did very well from the perception of the public.  

Most in law enforcement would agree.

He was disarming, friendly, and seemed to be unfazed by the fact that he was being recorded.  He even found a way to compliment the two men without necessarily subscribing to their crusade.  He accomplished his inquiry and allowed them to go on their way and left them feeling more positive about law enforcement.

He gave a great example as to how community policing is more than just a dance for the nicer areas and nicer people of town.  He used a softer approach and was very successful.

We've all see videos where officers utilize tactics, and command presence and force that are often not understood by the public but are absolutely necessary. 

We must control the situation.  We must own the scene.

But in other videos, we have sometimes seen arrogance, rudeness, and even anger when none appeared to be necessary.  And these incidents usually end badly for the officer in one way or another.

Today, there are literally hundreds of videos on Youtube of officers handling calls: some good, some not so good.  Our day-to-day performance is under more scrutiny than ever before.

And, candidly, some of us could use work on our people skills.  This job is all about people, and the successful cops of the future will be those that can adapt to different situations and different people.

This video was a great example of both.  For the record, the officer appeared to be a state trooper with the Illinois State Police, and the video was shot several years ago.

Use the scroll box below to share your thoughts.


Share your Thoughts on This Column

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each day. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission. 



Your Comments

Everything a police officer should want to be.

Excellent work!!!!!!!!!

Yeah the officer handled it fine.  The liberal yuppie in the orange jumpsuit is annoying though.  Everyone would be better off if he was working instead of standing around wasting his day on this frivolous protest.

What an outstanding job.  I would take five guys like that on my squad over five testosterone heads any day.

Textbook way to handle the call.

That was outstanding!

Perfect !  Perfect example of how to act, Good job.

That was excellent.  He has a good personality for this job.






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