Officer Safety

Do the Opposite


John Bostain

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

If you’ve been following this blog, you know we have been discussing our Think C.L.E.A.R. approach to officer safety.  As a reminder, C.L.E.A.R. is an acronym representing the five key principles to make you safer on every call.  C stands for Communication and today, we wrap up our discussion on that topic.

We believe there are three key components to communicating with citizens you encounter.  First, create discretionary time when possible and always communicate from a position of advantage.  Secondly, listen…really listen.  Today, we’ll talk about our third principle of communication: do the opposite.

Do the opposite you ask?  It’s actually very simple.  All of us have been on calls where emotions are out of control.  Whether it’s a domestic fight, dealing with an irate parent whose child just got arrested, or dealing with someone in crisis, dealing with people in a high emotional state is part of the job.  Take a minute to think about how they may be acting.  When you clearly identify the behaviors associated with their high emotional state, then do the opposite.

If they are yelling, talk softer.  If they are talking really fast, try talking a little slower (but not so slowly it becomes patronizing).  If they are pointing fingers, maintain a professional stance that allows you to respond quickly if needed.  When combined with communicating from a position of advantage and active listening, doing the opposite can go a long way to helping people calm themselves down.

Now that we’ve closed out our conversation on Communication, look for our upcoming blog on legal authority.  Knowing your exact legal authority in every situation is critical.  We will talk about areas where police officer sometimes put themselves in a jam because they don’t know their legal authority for that particular call.  Thanks as always for your time.  Stay Safe!