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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:13 pm 
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Situation came up yesterday that got me thinking.

A deputy was having trouble with an inmate who was behaving very strangely. Tweeking- thrashing around, gibbering. Probably still high on meth or possible long-term use of either meth or crack. The inmate needed to be moved from a temporary holding area to a cell and had refused. The deputy felt that any attempt to move her would result in a use of force and asked me to authorize delaying the move. I went to look for myself.

She was thrashing around and gibbering, sure enough. I opened the door and said "Would you put your clothes on please, ma'am?" She really had to work to control her limbs and her voice but finally said "Okay" and started to get dressed. I then asked her to step out so that I could show her to a room. Her muscles were still jumping but she complied. Watching her walk, it might have been substance abuse, but it might also have been a medical issue such as cerebral palsy.

What set me thinking was that the deputy had seen two possible outcomes- either the inmate would comply or force would be used. That's fine. The issue was that he had expected compliance to look a certain way, the way that a normal, sane person looks and acts when they agree to do something. Three wasn't room in his world view (and that's being unfair, it just hadn't crossed his mind) that under certain circumstances someone might be complying, but exhibiting the gross motor activity of impending violence.

Or a similar situation, where someone is doing what needs to be done physically (in other words, complying) but verbally trying to provoke you into crossing the line.

What would have happened if the deputy had gone through with the move and misinterpreted the GMA (gross motor activity)? A use of force, certainly. Probably justifiable from the totality of circumstances known to the deputy. Probabaly justifiable, but also very preventable.

Len- I realize this is a really obscure sub-problem of VSD, but this seems like the best place to try to think it out and get some feedback.

Rory


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2001 4:39 pm 
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Interesting observation Rory.

While dealing with unruly patrons of a stadium event, it was necessary for us security personnel, who was first on the scene, to determine what state of mind the individual was in. Depending on th eevent it could be drug induced (including alcohol) or rage induced (outcome of game not to the patrons liking).

Only the most experienced in crowd control and human behavior could acertain whether there were medical problems associated with the ruckus. Usually we called for backup regardless of the situation but we needed to tell the response team the particulars of the situation and most of the time we guessed correctly. It is rare that the same situation that you have described would ever come up at a stadium event but it could happen.

Many times we delt with patrons who considered us as non-authority figures. We received verbal threats and in some instances threats of violance if we tried to make them comply with our demands to come with us peacfully. The main thing that saved us was the fact that we had the State Police at our disposal. They would converge on the area and take over the situation if the patrons decided that they were not going to comply with our demands.

In the case you described, this person was already in lock up. Sometimes that situation does not call for back up and a second opinion of the state of mind of the subject.
Verbal cues as to whether a person may or may not comply are greatly diminished when the person's body apears to be acting in a contradictory manner. Without knowing the inmates previous medical history, you have to take a chance that the person is in lock up in the first place because of a crime related to their current behavior.

The deputy should have known why the person was arrested. The reason may explain the behavior. However, the deputy's decision to rely on the persons verbal refusal, and not make an attempt to move her, might have something to do with the deputy's background in similar situations. Without knowing how past responses to similar situations have been delt with, it is safe to assume that the deputy was protecting himself first and wanted a verification of the inmates state of mind before moving her.

I see nothing wrong with what the deputy did, considering the inmate was in lock up already. However, I do not know the reason that inmate needed to be removed so quickly. Was the temporary lock up needed for a more dangerous criminal, or maybe a criminal who was male? Or was the inmate a danger to herself in this lock up? In either case, I would consider that a back up would be necessary in case the inmate was drug dependant and not medically challenged.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Or a similar situation, where someone is doing what needs to be done physically (in other words, complying) but verbally trying to provoke you into crossing the line.

As you are aware, this type of behavior happens a lot. Provacation may cause brutality that may lead to aquittal. It is one way that a guilty person can get out being convicted, if they are attacked by aresting officer.




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Len


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2001 4:56 pm 
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Len Testa-Sensei,

Presuppositions of the kind you state in your post about the inmate brings to mind the issue of presuppositions in general.

When one is faced with an either/or or go/no-go situation and a third choice is introduced into the mix, a biochemical change occurs in the brain, that mitigates (or seems to mitigate) feelings of frustration and anger.

In any situation where confrontation is likely to occur, try to see the situation from the other person's view and do the actor's "What If?" thought process - what is the motivation of the person you are facing - what do THEY WANT? Presupposing what they want cn often lead to escalation.

If you address that, in many cases, you will defuse the situation, IME. Not all, but a significant number.

In the case you cite, looking outside the presupposed parameters that the first guard had laid down led to a successful conclusion of the exercise (moving the inmate to a cell without violence).

Often, it is the approach to a situation that will most often engender escalation. By being non-confrontational (asking reasonable things and starting with something rather outside the original topic - moving) the person will not have an excuse to escalate.

Now, there are scenarios where this will not work, obviously. Someone who is determined to have a fight will have a fight, come heck or high water. But even in those situations, getting to the core of what the person really wants can often minimize the situation.

Thanks for the lead into this thread - most interesting!

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 5:09 am 
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Len Testa-Sensei,

To expand further on this idea, let me relate a situation that happened in about 1977 in New York.

A group of my friends, including student, sometimes work conventions as special security/bodyguard details for VIPs. The conventions are science fiction events and this one was the biggest Star Trek event ever.

Three days of fun and rioting - literally. Over 25,000 people showed up and tried to squeeze into the main ballroom at the NY Hilton (space 2,500 max). Get the idea?

We were working with the entire cast of the show and a bucketful of other VIPs as well, including Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison and others.

The convention was at the NY Hilton and had been BADLY oversold. In the main hall, a woman had fainted and, due to the press of bodies around her, she could NOT fall, as an example.

During the event, a large and vocal crowd had gathered outside the Press office and were awaiting instructions on how to get their refunds as they could not even get up the escalators into the convention area.

Mind you, as Special Security - we were in costume. Klingon costume (before the funky head ridges came into being) to be exact, so we were high visibility. Blue glitz tunics, high, black boots, you can picture it, I'm sure.

Someone started the chant "How can you trust a Klingon" and things started to turn nasty. Shoving started and I knew we were in for a head-busting good time.

Until Mike Longcor, one of our team, took matters into his own foot. Yep. FOOT.

He whipped off his boot and stuck his foot up into the air in a passable high front kick, leaving it hanging there.

On that foot was the GAUDIEST, striped neon toe sock (where the toes are individually wrapped, each in a striped toe cover) that I have EVER seen.

"C'mon! How can you NOT trust someone wearing TOE SOCKS!" He yelled in an exaggerated whiny voice.

The crowd went into fits of bubbling laughter and dispersed.

Sometimes, you have to think outside the box ... or in mike's case, outside the boot to win without fighting.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.

[This message has been edited by LeeDarrow (edited December 19, 2001).]


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 8:48 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LeeDarrow:
Len Testa-Sensei,

- what do THEY WANT? Presupposing what they want cn often lead to escalation.

If you address that, in many cases, you will defuse the situation, IME. Not all, but a significant number.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lee-

I use this alot! Get a screaming, stomping, spitting drunk POS and a very low-key "What's your goal today, sir?" and sometimes things just stop.

"Huh?"
"Your goal, sir. What is your goal today?"
"I want to get out of this f****** place!"
"Explain to me, how exactly screaming is helping you do that?"
"Uh well, I guess it's not."
"Well, lte's try this, then..."

I find that getting someone to say out loud what they want _and_ getting them to state what they need to do to accomplish it can give them a sense of possibility.

Len-
I agree that there was nothing wrong with what the deputy did. It was two-fold. First, that by only seeing two options, the deputy limited himself. Sometimes cicumstances limit your options, but I see limiting your own options as a sort of sin.

The one that was actually bugging me, though was a cultural possibility: say I was raised in a society where compliance or agreement is signaled in a certain way, like a salute. The boss gives an order, the worker salutes and obeys. What if a cop gave an order to an immigrant and the immigrant didn't salute but was starting to obey... and the officer assumed the lack of a salute signaled defiance?

We do have culturally ingrained signals that we don't recognize consciously. Especially in VSD it is critical to be aware that these signals that we think are natural and universal are not. As Lee pointed out elsewhere, though, in a shared culture 80% or more of the message that we recieve will be interpretted from these signals. We need to be able to switch our attention between the medium and the message.

Rory


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 6:28 pm 
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Rory-sama,

Thanks for the validation. Sometimes just giving someone the feeling that they CAN influence things around them goes a long way to defusing a situation. Glad it has worked for you. Again, kind words are always appreciated.

Also, your point on the signals is a very good one, which I mostly overlooked in a direct sense. Thanks for pointing that out so well.

Len Testa-Sensei,

The guard really did nothing wrong, he was smart enough to realize that there might be a way of handling this individual that was outside his experience and asked for assistance. Smart man, IMHO.

It takes guts for some people, especially in a macho environment like law enforcement, to ask for help. This guy is an asset to his unit, IMHO.

I would be interested in hearing about compliance signals from both of you as well as anyone else out there. This is an area that has been outside of my consciousness and I feel a need to become more aware on the topic (how's THAT for California-speak? - from a Chicagoan, no less!). Image

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2001 7:04 pm 
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Great topic Rory.
Signals of compliance are rarely ever given by someone who has nothing to gain by complying.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
The one that was actually bugging me, though was a cultural possibility: say I was raised in a society where compliance or agreement is signaled in a certain way, like a salute. The boss gives an order, the worker salutes and obeys. What if a cop gave an order to an immigrant and the immigrant didn't salute but was starting to obey... and the officer assumed the lack of a salute signaled defiance?


The action of compliance should be the signal that the officer looks for first.

In any command situation where a subordinate is expected to perform an action, the action by the subordinate does not often constitute a signal of acceptance. Especially in the case of an arrest or detainment of an individuals freedom.

In the case with the imigrant, body language and signals of aceptance may be different for their culture. When dealing with imigrants, and even our own citizens of imigrant decent, the action or non action should be the basis for concern.

How many cases can you recall, where an order was given, did a subordinate signal acceptance by an auditory or body language signal and then failed to comply. The lack of action is the defiance, not the auditory response.

Yes you should not presuppose that a person will comply just on an audible response. The person should respond in a reasonable time frame though. If you determine that that time frame should be immediately, then the order should be given with that word in the statement. You should not presuppose that the acceptance will be quickly obeyed.
When commanding an action, a firm but positive statement can not be ignored without ramification.

If you want a response to be immediate, you must state a consequence of disobedience if there is no immediate action.

If I was the deputy, I would have said this to the woman...
"Put your clothes on, please maam, because we have to move you to another room as soon as possible."

This phrase removes the asking "would you" which is the basis of non compliance because in effect you are asking instead of commanding. The reason for action is clear, by stating so in the command phrase, and the amount of time to comply has also been stated.

Then if a non compliance is determined by either audible disagreement or lack of movement a consequence of inaction should be delivered.

In any case the result of the individuals compliance (the putting on of the clothes) signals compliance regardless of the time it takes to accomplish the goal.

I always think back to when my children were young and I ordered them to do chores. In the command statement I told them, What I expected them to do, when they were to do it, and the consequence of their inaction to comply. I knew that I was not going to get an auditory acceptance.

Did I presuppose, yes. Experience taught me to do that.

I looked only for the child to get moving in a predetermined amount of time set forward in my command. If the action was not taken in the predetermined time, the consequence of inaction had already been given in the command.

------------------
Len

[This message has been edited by LenTesta (edited December 18, 2001).]


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 8:12 am 
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Len-

Nice. We have a "kata" for that: ASK-ADVISE-ORDER. Your request + time frame + consequences falls nicely into the "ADVISE" step.

More advanced, we also use a check step.

The sequence goes like this:

ASK: "Please do X"

ADVISE: "Sir, if you do not do X, Y will happen" (Y can range from force to withdrawal of priveledges to 'natural' consequences like slipping and falling.

ORDER: "I am giving you a direct order. Do X now!"

CHECK: "To be perfectly clear, you are refusing to do X and you leave me no choice but Y."

The check at first appears redundant and as "backing down", but the more intelligent bad guys realize that it makes them actually state that what is about to happen is their choice...and it often turns the situation around.

Quote:
"The action of compliance should be the signal that the officer looks for first."

Yet very often we look for the attitude, and often, the attitude is a better indicator of how things will go in the near future than apparent compliance. It is a very fine judgement call.

Thanks for your insight, both of you. The question is becoming clearer in my mind.

Rory


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 10:21 pm 
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Rory-sama -

GREAT kata!!

I particularly like the idea that the person being told to do something is told why, and shown, clearly, that the result of their noncompliance has a specific result - just like in the outside world.

Len Testa-Sensei,

Your move into a more controlling voice (Put your clothes on now, please) may actually ENGENDER antagonistic behavior by triggering feelings of rebellion in the subject, IMPO.

Teens, particularly, react badly to direct orders, whereas, when something is explained to them that includes the reasoning behind the order/request, compliance levels rise significantly.

Not a flame, just something I have noticed and seen supported in some of the literature.

The key here is to show the subject that their compliance, or lack thereof, has specific consequences and that the application of those consequences is a direct result of the subject's decision to comply with the request/order or not.

Sometimes, no matter how you approach a certain person, you are going to have a problem. But, by using the kata outlined above, with the input made by both of you as additional supportive interventions, that probability should drop, noticeably.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 3:04 pm 
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Lee,

Your statement:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Teens, particularly, react badly to direct orders, whereas, when something is explained to them that includes the reasoning behind the order/request, compliance levels rise significantly.

is a repeat of my statement
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>This phrase removes the asking "would you" which is the basis of non compliance because in effect you are asking instead of commanding. The reason for action is clear, by stating so in the command phrase, and the amount of time to comply has also been stated.

"Put your clothes on, please maam, because we have to move you to another room as soon as possible." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
We are saying the same thing. The reason is in bold type.


Teenagers will rebel against any commands no matter how you phrase them!

When giving commands, especially to teenagers, you should never phrase it in a way that would allow for a choice. If I say, "(Will, or Can) you please take out the trash right now?" I am going to get a response of "NO I can't take it out now I am busy, I will take it out later." You know what happens when they say that. You end up taking out the trash in the early morning before going to work.

Rephrasing the command to this, "Please, take out the trash right now because you have a date tonight and I know that you will be busy later getting ready." is better. There is no 'asking Can or Will you' in the second phrase. You are demanding that the action be immediate. Also in the second statement a consequence of immediate inaction 'you will be busy later' was given so a 'no' decision to take out the trash right now can not be made.

Sometimes, either way you phrase it, you may get disobedience. I have had many command statements lead to arguing that my reason for the immediate request was bogus in some way. You know what. It almost never was.

In Law enforcement, or crowd control security, you can't "ask" or give a person a choice to not follow out your orders.

Here is an example: I am trying to get a patron of a stadium event, who was being unruly, to leave his seat and come into the isle. I say, "Sir, Would you please, mind leaving your seat and coming out to the isle so we can discuss the nature of your rage ?"
The response by the patron would be, "Yes, I do mind. I paid a lot of money to see...and I am not going over there." There will be no immmediate action therefore clearly signaling defiance.

The reason was there, 'so we can discuss.' However, I gave him a choice that he could leave the seat or not, because there was no consequence of inaction given for not leaving the seat.

This would be the proper command phrase: "Sir, Please leave your seat and come out to the isle and discuss the nature of your rage, or I will have to call in the response team." There can be no disobedience of this statement. The reason for the command and the consequence of inaction was clearly stated. I gave no choice that he could stay in his seat and that I would go away.

The same applies to giving out commands for teenagers to follow. Politeness, 'please' when using a commanding statement and 'thank you' on a follow up statement when the subject begins to carry out the command is important.

Great discussion. No flaming was suspected.




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Len


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 9:00 pm 
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LenTesta-Sensei,

We are on the same page, I just did not communicate it all that well. Glad you took it that way.

In the example I gave of the professional agitator in the crowd at the convention being defused by the toe socks (a CLASSIC move if ever there was one), the often overlooked concept of humor to help lower resistance is shown in a rather surprising way. Who would expect a Klingon Officer to pull a Whiny Voice and wave his striped, neon toe socks at a crowd?! - especially at head-height?

Another example, I witnessed was a Bobby getting a man down off a window casement at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (a TV special was being filmed and this made it onto the footage).

The Bobby moved into the crowd, jammed about 8 deep and said, "Excuse me, Sir, but please, do come down from there before you fall and do yourself a hurt!" And offered the guy his hand to help him down. Needless to say, he got an almost instant compliance, along with a few chuckles from the crowd.

He followed the kata of asking and giving a good reason and offered assistance to accomplish his request. The fact that he was smiling helped as well, I am sure.

Sometimes, just being polite can increase the possibility for compliance. Mannerly behavior has become rather rare in today's society.

Respectfully and with wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 9:00 am 
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Len,

By giving someone a choice, you increase their sense of personal power and thereby decrease their need to try to establish power by acting out, so we do advocate offering choices.

However, giving a choice to comply or not comply is limiting and it may cause you to act.

We are taught to give two "do" choices rather than a "do-not do" choice. "Are you going to take the garbage out?" invites a yes or no response.

"Are you going to take the garbage out or spend the afternoon cleaning your room?" invites the child to pick the least onerous of the two.

Presented with confidence, the human mind has this weird tendency to lock into the choices offered and not come up with novel solutions.

Rory


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2001 12:26 am 
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Very good discussion here. We are all saying the same thhings and seem to be in agreement.

However Rory, one small mistake in commanding terminology may get results that were not intended.

If I want the garbage taken out, and I say this to my teenager... <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
"Are you going to take the garbage out or spend the afternoon cleaning your room?"

The answer I will get will be...
"I'll clean my room!"

The teenager will always choose what is more beneficial to him/her than what is beneficial to you. Getting the garbage out is the objective. Cleaning the room is not.

I will only give a choice of two duties if I knew that it was the only way I could get one of them done. Either one will be OK as the imortance of completing the task is equal.

Of course if you wanted to get the room cleaned, you could always try reverse pyscology and use your statement:
..."Are you going to take the garbage out or spend the afternoon cleaning your room?"...

But knowing teenagers like I do (because I raised three of them) be prepared for them to take out the garbage this time.

<font color = "red"><font size = "24">
Merry </font color> <font color = "green"><font size = "24">Christmas</font>
<font color = "Blue"><font size = "24">To All</font>


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Len


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