Sunday, October 5, 2008
I had a chance this last week to join in another police training exercise and participate in three scenarios. In the first I played the role of one of two complaining neighbor who hear a loud argument in another apartment. Two police officers arrived and we pointed to the apartment where we had heard the people fighting. The police go inside and find an angry belligerent person. Upon searching they also find in another room a person lying “dead” with a gun on the rug. The correct procedure is for one of the officers to calm down and interrogate the shouting roommate and to handcuff that person if violent and the other officer to search and find the “body” and remove the gun. In the second scenario I was part of a group having the Thanksgiving dinner from hell. Six of us were in a room arguing and shouting when the police arrived. The objective was for the police officers to calm us all down and separate us. In sitting us down there was a gun under a cushion on one chair which the person sitting in that chair draws. The officers need to either take that person down or “shoot.” One of the lessons learned involved checking the cushion before having someone sit there. The third scenario took place in a disco where a number of us were dancing and two people get into a fight. The police arrive to break up the fight. In all of this, no citizens were injured because all the “take-down” roles were played by police trainers with body-protection padding. The bottom-line for me seeing the police operate in these training exercises was the importance of being observant, using forceful language to move people who are causing problems and being prepared to act when a problem occurs.