September 6, 2016

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You Can’t Train for Everything

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with one of my favorite topics—training.

Train, train, train and train some more. But when that situation comes up that you couldn’t have possibly trained for, use your head.

No matter how hard we try, and this is true across the entire public safety spectrum—law enforcement, fire services and custody services—we are going to run into situations that we just couldn’t train for. Unimaginable situations. I’ll bet that every public safety member viewing this Today’s Tip could tell me a story about a situation encountered on the job that was so odd or unique that you had to handle the situation using your wits, imagination and intelligence.  

Let me give you a law enforcement example.  A sergeant, we’ll call him Mike, and several officers were sent to a group home on a 9-1-1 call reporting a man with a gun who said he was going to hurt everyone inside as he forced his way in. The caller managed to escape and call 9-1-1. When the officers arrived at the 4-unit apartment building there was a man sitting in a chair right by the front door of the group home. He lived in the adjacent unit. Officers learned that the man was both blind and deaf. He was in harm’s way and oblivious to everything going on around him. Of course, you were trained how to handle this in the Academy, right? Or your FTO told you how to deal with a situation like this? Or your sergeant discussed it during briefing training? I doubt it. The sergeant had to develop a plan—and FAST. He used his head and used his imagination and got a team of officers together with a ballistic shield. Essentially, they decided to kidnap the man—who of course wouldn’t know who they were or why they were doing it. As expected, the deaf and blind man attempted to fight the officers off. But, like I said, Sergeant Mike used his head. He grabbed the man’s hand and rubbed it against the badge on his uniform. He also gently rubbed the man’s head in an “It’s OK” manner. This was genius. I don’t think I’d have been able to think of that so quickly. Kudos to  Sergeant Mike. 

Train, train, train and train some more. But when that situation comes up that you couldn’t have possibly trained for, use your head. Use your imagination. If there is time for planning, use it and use it wisely. 

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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