Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Loren Christensen - 4 Police Concepts Anyone Can Use

4 Police Concepts Anyone Can Use

by Loren W. Christensen
When dealing with dangerous people, fighting concepts are just as important as physical techniques; some argue they are more important. Even if you aren’t in law enforcement, think about the concepts here and ponder how they apply to your situation. Think about them in advance, so they will be there for you in the heat of battle when your heart rate is going Mach 10 and your adrenaline is crashing against the rocks. 

1. When justified to use force, don’t hesitate.
The late martial arts master Ed Parker said, “Those who hesitate, meditate in the horizontal position . . . forever.” He’s right. In fact, according to FBI research, hesitation to use force is one of the characteristics that kills cops. Keep in the forefront of your mind that force is justifiable in situations you reasonably perceive as physically threatening to you or your loved ones. You can even employ preemptive force to stop a threat. In other words, you don’t have to wait until you’re assaulted or injured before you act. Besides, it might be too late by then. Just keep in mind your preemptive actions must be justifiable and hold up in court, or you might have to share a cell with a heavily tattooed guy who winks at you a lot.

2. Don’t quit.
Don’t give up the fight because you’re tired or injured. Author Kit Cessna — Delta Force veteran and SWAT officer — writes this in his excellent book Equal or Greater Force:

“‘It’s never over until it’s over.’ When I was younger, I used to think that was just a quaint saying, but now I know that it is true. . . . It’s meaning is simple: the fight isn’t over until it is really over. Don’t count yourself out; that’s somebody else’s job. If you find yourself in a situation where you are fighting for your very survival, then you don’t stop for anything while you are still alive and moving. Plenty of people have received grievous injuries and gone on living. Plenty of people have gone into a fight where the odds appeared to be completely against them, yet they prevailed in the end. Many people have been in situations when they thought they were going to die, only to live and tell about it . . . Whatever you do, don’t quit.”

(Cessna is also the author of the Paladin book All Enemies Foreign and Domestic and a contributor to my Paladin compilation Warriors: Updated and Expanded.)

Think about this now, not when you’re thrashing around with a mutant on a sidewalk. Tell yourself today and everyday until it’s ingrained in your subconscious that you’re not going to quit. You might have a bullet in your gut or an arrow in your back, but you will keep fighting, and keep fighting, and keep . . .

3. Don’t take shortcuts.
Sometimes it’s the hard-working, arrest-driven officers who take shortcuts, shortcuts that get them hurt. I heard of one officer who did a quick pat down of a suspect, placed him in the backseat of the police car without handcuffing him, and then headed off to jail. Halfway there, the officer realized he should have searched the man more thoroughly when he heard the distinctive sound of a round being chambered into a shotgun. The sloppy officer survived to tell the story of the missed weapon and hopefully learned from his error.

Don’t think you can keep your hands in your pocket or fail to monitor the distance between you because the person in your face doesn’t look like much of a threat. Taking a shortcut from your survival and fighting concepts just might get you cut, shot, or thumped. Which leads to the last concept . . .

4. Don’t trust your instincts too much.

Veteran cops can read people better than those with advanced psychology degrees. For sure, a cop’s sixth sense about things is a powerful tool and is highly respected in some courts of law. But — BUT — next time the officer just might be wrong.

When I walked a beat in skid row, I saw a cop get his jaw broken by an old wino he had arrested a dozen times without incident. In fact, the officer had bought the man a meal on more than one occasion and had saved the guy’s bacon several times when other street folks wanted to kill him. This time, after the officer picked him up out of the gutter and was walking him to the police car to take him to a shelter, the wino shattered the cop’s face.

I once came this close to eating a big nail when I tried to scoot a street drunk and his grocery cart out of the middle of a busy sidewalk. I had known this wino for 15 years and had never had a bit of trouble from him. This time as I too casually moved him along, he snatched a board with a protruding nail from his cart and swung it at my head. My alert partner grabbed the man’s arm and saved my skull from looking like a single-hole colander.

Gut feelings are powerful tools, but don’t count on them 100 percent. Don’t count on anything 100 percent. Philosopher Bertrand Russell said: “[F]ools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” He also said: “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.”
Whether you’re a cop or a civilian, use your experience and use your instinct, but never allow those things to make you complacent or overtrusting, or to lull you into being comfortable. Be in the yellow zone no matter how familiar your environment.

Loren Christensen is the author of two dozen Paladin books and videos, including Fighting in the Clinch, Fighting Dirty, and Fighting Power. Loren was a military policeman in Saigon during the Vietnam War and retired from the Portland, Oregon, Police Department after more than two decades of service. He can be contacted through his website at www.lcwbooks.com.

Copied from http://paladin-pressblog.com/2013/10/24/four-police-concepts-anyone-can-use/


My sincerest gratitude to Loren Christensen for his kind permission in reposting his article to my site.

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