L7 SKILLS UNIQUE TO CRIME FIGHTING

OVERVIEW: INSTRUCTOR WILL REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE POLICE OFFICER’S ROLE IN SOCIETY AND THE PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES EVERY OFFICER MUST FACE. OBJECTIVES: CADETS WILL GAIN A DEEPER APPRECIATION FOR THE DUTIES A POLICE OFFICER PERFORMS AND BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE QUALITIES REQUIRED FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROFESSIONAL CAREER. GET THEIR ATTENTION To become an officer, you must be a citizen, age 20 or older, with at least a high school education and the ability to pass an intense written examination. But that’s only part of the picture. There are other skills to acquire that you may have never considered. Now, have your cadets take out their Cadet Handout for this unit. Police officers must possess distinct physical and mental qualities to successfully perform their duties. As a police officer, you're on the go for at least eight hours a day. You may need to calm the mother of an injured child one minute and chase down a violent offender the next. You may have to switch from a state of peace and calm to an adrenalinefilled struggle for survival the next. Both physically and mentally demanding, a police officer must possess skills that few other professions demand. In this lesson, we will learn more about the demands of protecting the public and the skills required of every officer who wears a badge. WHAT IT TAKES A recent jobs posting for a position as a police officer read as follows: “Strong, verbal communication skills are necessary. Commensurate mental and physical skills necessary to walk/stand for long periods of time, respond to emergencies, and maintain order among individuals and groups are necessary.” The following is list of the skills that are unique to being a police officer. Review them and see if you’re up to the job!

As the representative of "government" in the eyes of your citizens, your physical appearance and mental attitude reflect on police officers everywhere, in your town, state and nation. You ARE the image of government in your jurisdiction. People may see the mayor on television, but the one they deal with every day is YOU. Obviously, you must be neat, wellgroomed, wearing the proper uniform, cleaned and pressed, shoes shined, and present a cool, calm, demeanor. While other people may have a "bad day," you can't. When you deal with the public, it's not their fault that you feel grumpy because of an argument that morning with your significant other. You are still the personification of authority. People often wave as you walk by in uniform or drive by in a police car. Odds are they don't know you and you probably don't know them. They are acknowledging what you represent, not you personally. People really do care about "their" police. Keeping physically fit is very important, and more involved for an officer than a regular citizen. Consider the demands of the job. You may ride in a car all day, then jump out to run a foot race with a fleeing felon. When you catch him, he turns to fight. He may be the high school weight-lifting champion, but your job is to subdue him and take him into custody. Then you have to safeguard his well being while you take him back to the police station. Your physical attitude has quickly shifted from inertia to exertion, and your mental attitude must shift just as quickly from one of overcoming an adversary to protecting your prisoner. All that is said about diet and exercise is critical to a successful police career but because of the unique demands on police, you need to pay attention to four specific targets. Can your body handle the rapid changes and survive? The first target is your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. A properly designed exercise program can improve the circulation of your blood and increase your lung capacity. Muscle strength and stamina can give you an edge over the weight-lifter. Punching power is NOT developed by doing biceps curls with a dumbbell. It's developed by punching properly. In training, you will learn a variety of defensive techniques that enable you to control a person stronger than you. But you have to be able to do those techniques. If your joints are stiff, your performance will suffer. Body fat, not the blubber that hangs over your belt, but the fat inside your body, can literally get in the way of movement of your body parts. A lithe and welltrained police officer could probably walk all over a Sumo wrestler. Being mentally prepared means that once you've decided to take an action, you can do it decisively, as aggressively as necessary, and right NOW! Speed of thought and speed of action can resolve a situation before it has a chance to escalate into something more serious. It gives you the element of surprise. If you react before the aggressor expects it, and you get him under control,

you have the upper hand. Remain cool and calm during all this. If you lose control of your temper, you lose control of yourself, and you will have lost control of the situation. DEALING WITH PEOPLE Remember the TV ad showing the Marine Drill Instructor right up in the recruit's face, head up, and chin forward, shoulders back, hands on hips? He was expressing dominance. Yes, there may be times you want to express dominance, but more likely you want to appear interested and cooperative until a subject gives you cause to appear otherwise. And that serves your safety better. When you enter an elevator with another person, ever notice how the two of you will share the confined space equally? Make it three people in the elevator and they divide the space into thirds. When you enter a crowded elevator and face the people already there, notice how they feel uncomfortable. That's because one's "personal space" extends farther to the front than it does to the sides or rear. Knowing this helps you to avoid letting someone get so close you have no time to react to an unexpected threat, and to avoid your precipitating an aggressive reaction by another when you approach him. Everyone is circled by three zones. The outermost for a police officer is the alert zone. Next is the defense zone where you are on the defensive. The innermost, about one arm's length plus one hand, is the attack zone. It is in this zone where an intrusion is likely to cause a reaction. A civilian might name these zones social, personal and intimate. It's important, when talking with a subject, that you don't let him get into the inner zone where he could easily attack you. By the same token, if you just want to talk with a citizen, don't approach into HIS inner zone where you make him feel uncomfortable and possibly cause him to react. Besides, if you were that close, he could attack you and you wouldn't have the reaction time to defend yourself. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Why is the appearance of an officer important? Why is it important for police officers to stay in good physical condition? How can one’s posture express dominance? Interest? What are the three zones around the officer? What are the three zones around you?

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