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Posted: 10/6/2005 4:18:30 PM EDT
I apologize if this is a stupid question.  I plan on entering the force in about a year and still have some newb questions.

What exactly is the mindset for approaching a group of people that may not exactly welcome your presence?  in ride alongs and in other sitings most cops appear to be fearless in doing this.  for instance, i've watched my ride along officer approach several people in a housing project where it is well known that the police are not welcome.  I was just hoping to gain some understanding of the thought process behind this part of the job.  thankyou for answering my question and for what you all do.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 4:33:15 PM EDT
I think confidence is very important in this line of work, but overconfidence/cockiness will get you injured or killed.  When approaching a group of two or more people keep your distance, and if possible pull one person aside and talk to them seperately to find out what's going on.  As I said though, if you start thinking you are supercop and walk into a hornet's nest, you are gonna get stung at some point.  
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 12:07:04 AM EDT
I find that when I portray an easy going sense of humor, it puts the group at ease. They have no idea that while my mouth is rambling some crap about "old neighbor lady complainging of loud music" or "you boys know that we found a dead body behind this Circle K just last week"...during all of that BS, I'm watching to see who thinks they want to dance with me. I've already told dispatch I'm checking out with a large group, so they/backup have an idea. I haven't had a problem yet, probably because I don't go out of my way to piss anyone off. If someone has to go to jail, I usually wait until backup is there and I can "talk" that person into the patrol car....I hear people call it "verbal judo" - whatever.

Sometimes you drive away from a situation like that and think to yourself - "What in the hell was I doing back there???"
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 12:32:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 12:34:25 AM EDT by SanTifiQue]
Professionalism and confidence!

keep cool and calm, dont push buttons if none need to be.

If your approaching a group that is more of a diverse race (blacks for instance), dont say "what up brothers" or "whats crackin"....Yes i have seen it done!

keep your pro hat on and not to offend anyone but talk so they can understand, but not like above
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 1:23:39 PM EDT
Well at 5-09 165lbs I get out a big ol stick and walk up to the biggest mofo in the group and smack him in the solar plexus and  say any one want some of this.   I usually get full compliance and they give up all of their dope and guns.

Then when I wake up I use my training and backup and just try to talk to people like, people.  You can generally see which ones are going to be jerks. and who's not.   There will also be the sneaky ones that you can't read.   They can be dangerous.   A man/woman has to know their limitations.  
You will do things that are scary...    Fear is a good thing.  You should learn to harness it.   It says this is dangerous. Plan accordingly.  Don't let it paralyze you.  

Me and ol John Wayne are very different in our style.

You will see guys that by their mere presence will have a fight.   I've been lucky in that I've managed to "verbal judo" most into being reasonable.    When that doesn't work the stick or OC or Mexican Judo is used.

You will die.  It's someting we all will do once.  It's how we live that makes a difference.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 5:58:00 PM EDT
My FTO taught me that it is better to talk for 15 minutes and fight for 5 than the other way around.  As I walk up they get a smile and a "How are y'all doing today, anyone giving you problems?"  
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:15:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:11:23 PM EDT
Be kind and polite, but have a plan to kill every person you meet.

or so I was told
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:54:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 8:55:01 PM EDT by Sukebe]
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 10:37:09 AM EDT
+1 on the advice so far. I'll add my 2c, also;  Don't try to be something you aren't. There's nothing worse for your credibility than trying to come off as Mr Sensitive if you're 6'4'' & 265. It doesn't mean you can't BE sensitive, or throw 'em a curveball by letting them see something unexpected. Just don't try to be something you're really not. I also work inside a wall/fence every shift, and I've found that if you believe that everyone is "human" and everyone is (at least a little bit) different ... you'll almost never be unpleasantly surprised. One more thing. THAT IS NOT A STUPID QUESTION. It's only a stupid question if you stop asking things like that a year from now, or 2, or 5, or 15.  Stay safe.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 10:48:50 AM EDT
I had a buddy that owns his own heating a A/C business, he's a Vietnam Vet and back in the day was a scrapper. He's older now and isn't so agile.

He was installing a boiler system in a bad neighborhood one day about two years ago when 3 male blacks found there way into the basement with the intent to rob him. He said he was surrounded by them and they demanded his $$.

He pulled out his G27 and pointed it at the biggest dude and told the other two that if they tried anything he would shoot the big mans knee out.

The big guy quickly called the robbery off and apologized for bothering him.

Lesson, if you can contain the "leader" the rest will usually follow suit and comply. It would be best that you talk and manipulate the big man because if you fight him you will get a ass kicking from the rest coming to the aid of the leader.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 7:53:02 PM EDT
1.           Avoid problems

2.           de-escalate the problems you can't avoid

3.           Be prepared with the mind-set that no matter what happens, you are scrap til the end to survive to go home to kiss the kids, pet the dog,  smack your wife/girlfriend on the tail. and drink a cold one.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 8:01:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2005 8:03:01 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]

Originally Posted By ZW17:

Lesson, if you can contain the "leader" the rest will usually follow suit and comply. It would be best that you talk and manipulate the big man because if you fight him you will get a ass kicking from the rest coming to the aid of the leader.

Although, if you must fight, take the leader out first. He is generally the glue that holds them together.

I learned back in HS that the guy you worry about is the loudest one. He's the one the others are trying to impress.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 9:06:23 PM EDT
I just keep a healthy distance..voice carries....
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 9:46:30 AM EDT
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