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  1. #1
    Andrewtx's Avatar
    Andrewtx is offline A little bit of soul
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    Clearing your mind before a call

    Hey guys. I was wondering if you could offer any advice on how to calm and clear your mind en route to a call and when arriving on scene. Do you think it's mostly a matter of experience and gaining confidence over time in your ability to handle various calls? Thanks as always..

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    OfficerResource.com's Avatar
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    It all depends on the call. If it is a high Stress call then i Run different things throught my head. I always try to have some sort of plan. then once I get on scene My Instincts take over.
    You develope instincts by Training, and experience.
    I was wondering if you could offer any advice on how to calm and clear your mind en route to a call and when arriving on scene
    sometimes I want to be amped up when I get on scene. Almost like getting ready for the big football game!

    I also always say a short prayer to st. michael to protect me and to help me act swiftly and safely

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    NavLaw's Avatar
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    Just come up with a basic plan. Don't try to detail it to much. Nothing will go exactly as planned, ever. In time you will find what works for you.
    Stay safe.
    If you can't do it from a boat. Do you really want to do it?

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    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Does "Combat Breathing" help? Maybe you call it something else.

    Supposedly it's to reduce the effects of adrenaline... It's just slow inhale as much air as you can... hold several seconds... exhale... hold... repeat.

    I've haven't been in a situation since I learned about it, however, where I got an opportunity to test it to see if it really works... I guess that's a GOOD thing

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    Andrewtx's Avatar
    Andrewtx is offline A little bit of soul
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    Thanks to both of you. I should've added that I'm not in LE but EMS and my question was prompted by a couple of calls I had yesterday. One way or another though I just want to turn my adrenaline into an advantage.

    I called my dad this morning and I was talking with him about things because he has a lot of experience in this area. He gave me this piece of advice: No matter what happens on a scene, what the situation is, or what mistake you have to correct, you must maintain your confidence if you want everyone involved to have confidence in you.

    Some of the unease I have right now is due to simply gaining familiarity with the organization as I became active in it very recently, so some more time under my belt will help. Thanks again guys.

  6. #6
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    I usually thought about where I was going to have dinner, how I was going to get my kid to mow the lawn, etc.

    I loved the line in "Pulp Fiction" when Samuel Jackson said to John Travolta "Time to get into character" as they arrived to jackup some guys. That's kinda the way my partner and I were when we worked the ghetto. We'd talk about all sorts of things driving like hell to get to a shooting and then "get into character" as we pulled up.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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  7. #7
    chris2001's Avatar
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    I do what many on here have said I run plans through my head. Not to mention I also run escape plans through my head. You never know when shit is going to hit the fan rather quickly. As most know I work in an area where our call volume is fairly low. Which means that a person can become complacent rather quickly. I simply talk with other officers about scenarios not to mention that everytime I go to a DV call I assume that the guy is waiting to take me and my back-up out.

    As far as not letting the adrenline get to you while arriving to the call thats why you keep your head moving and your eyes wide open. It allows you and your body to realize everything that is going on around. After you get out of the car and are into the scene just doing what your trained to do will allow you to stay as calm as possible. Realize that we are all talking about normal type situations. We are not talking about shoot outs or knock out drag out fights for your life. In those cases you want the adrenline flowing at full volume you don't really want to stay calm. Reason being is you are fighting for you life. Your fighting to stay alive and go home at the end of the shift. I have read a few books on the Hollywood shootout and a reoccuring statement that they speak about is that they were glad they were pumped up. Meaning the adrenline kept them in the fight and staying alive.

    A lot of times when the body is put in a situation of stress the body will either choose to fight or flight method. As another member on here has said you never know what will or will not happen to you till you are put in that situation. While most officers will say they will stay in the fight you never really know till it happens. Best thing to do I have found is stay positive and act do not react. It takes so much longer to react than it does act.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

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  8. #8
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    Like "Reca", I start thinking about the nature of the call. Do I need to be "pumped up" when I get there or not. I start playing the scenero through my head of the most basic call of the particular nature, so I already have a basic plan in mind when I arrive. Keep in the back of your mind, the what "if's". That way you also have a plan "B". This seems like alot, but this comes with time and experience. Hopefully you can get the experience in without any harm coming to you or your co-workers. STAY ALERT, STAY ALIVE!

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    It is also important not to second guess yourself. We learn in the SRT team "if you go wrong stay wrong". Second Guessing yourself will get you killed.

    An Example of "if you go wrong stay wrong". If we are stacked on a door ready to breach. Our Breacher breaches the door. He is supposed to get out of the way of the train stacked behind him. But if he gets sucked into the door for what ever reason he should not try to back out. He should drop the ram and go to his primary weapon and begin clearing threats.

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    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    How do you assess the situation before you get there? All you have is a DV call, even on an armed robbery call, until you get close you have no idea what you're going to be looking at. Unless of course, your dispatchers give you a hell of a lot more info than ours gives us.

    I didn't get worked up about any call until I got near enough to see what was there. On commercial robbery calls, we usually told other cars responding where we were going to coordinate, but as I was arriving, I sure as hell wasn't getting "pumped up", I was watching and looking. I've seen too many cops who get pumped or amp'd up fly by a suspect and never see him. I want to be calm and relaxed as I approach a dangerous situation. I already know what I'll do if threatened.

    On DV's, shit most of the time I didn't even know what the house looked like until I got there. How can you prepare for that? Again, as I drove up I started looking and assessing what was there, but I wasn't thinking about what I was going to do until I had some basic information regarding the layout. Planning what I was going to do before seeing the scene is about as relevant and thinking how I was going to get my kid to mow the yard.
    Last edited by Retdetsgt; 03-09-06 at 12:11 PM.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Magnum440 is offline Older Than Dirt
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    My dad and two uncles who were LEOs for 25 years each, told me when I started (in another department) at any call you make regardless of the type, "everybody will be excited, and someone has to remain calm, and that person should be you, do what your training, and gut tells you do do, and use common sense". They said, quite correctly, you cannot plan ahead what you will do because every call will be absolutely different. All of us can attest to that. My first Sgt. used to tell us something that is being repeated a lot today. "paralysis by analysis" He too honed in on common sense. All you who are active, STAY SAFE.
    Last edited by Magnum440; 03-09-06 at 12:34 PM.
    Facta non verba
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    chris2001's Avatar
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    I have also been told not only at the academy but by veterans that fear can be your best friend. It is something that allows you to stay alive. There is a difference though between fear and pure scared shitless. You are able to work through fear, it also keeps you on your toes.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

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    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

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    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Just wondered because I've always been warned about tunnel vision and poor judgement with a lot of adrenalin flowing, not to mention loss of fine motor function required to get a precision head shot for example (remember the North Hollywood robbers had their heads exposed, but attempted head shots were all unsucessful).

    My shooting instructor was telling us about one officer in another incident who always practiced with paper targets that were chest-high. He confronted a man with a gun in a convinence store parking lot, who immediately dropped to the ground - The officer acted instinctively, exactly as he'd been trained - He emptied his clip chest-high, hitting nothing but a brick wall, then the man shot him.

    In another incident, an officer had been practicing tactical reloads the day before - He'd draw, fire once, drop his clip, fire again, etc. You guessed it, when the REAL thing happened, he fired once and dropped his clip, leaving himself defenseless (another moral to that story: A magazine safety is not a feature).

    I have no idea whether those stories are true, but that's what my shooting instructor was using to illustrate how training can backfire without a clear mind.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 03-09-06 at 05:03 PM.

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    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    Just wondered because I've always been warned about tunnel vision and poor judgement with a lot of adrenalin flowing, not to mention loss of fine motor function required to get a precision head shot for example (remember the North Hollywood robbers had their heads exposed, but attempted head shots were all unsucessful).
    That's exactly why I didn't get pumped up on a call or before an entry. If nothing else, I stopped, took a few deep breaths and calmed myself down before any police action if I had the opportunity. It's much safer to operate on brain power than adrenalin.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Virginian's Avatar
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    My firearms instructor told us about a department that made their officers pick up their brass as they finished a magazine. It became so ingrained in them that (supposedly) an officer was involved in a gunfight, and was found dead with brass in his hand. Don't know if this is true or just made up to scare us away from bad habits, but I can imagine it happening.

    I remember my first practice traffic stop - I pulled a car over at night in a large parking lot. As I'm walking up to the car, both doors fly open and role players take off in opposite directions. I stopped, unsure which was a bigger threat and at the same time trying to watch the vehicle for a third person. Then I realize I should get on the radio, and I start calling off a description of the suspects. "white male, blue jacket black hat blue jeans ohshit he's in my car!!!!" The guy had circled around and run straight to my car. Got in, locked the doors and cut on the siren. The whole time I was preoccupied with the radio and giving a description. Then his partner runs up as I'm telling this guy to get out of my car at gunpoint, and starts blasting blanks at me. Needless to say I was terrified the rest of the officer survival weeks. But there you have a perfect example of paralysis by analysis as Magnum mentioned.

  16. #16
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    You should sell videos of that

    Seriously, I can see myself doing the same thing! Sounds like Reno911

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    chris2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian
    My firearms instructor told us about a department that made their officers pick up their brass as they finished a magazine. It became so ingrained in them that (supposedly) an officer was involved in a gunfight, and was found dead with brass in his hand. Don't know if this is true or just made up to scare us away from bad habits, but I can imagine it happening.
    Thats actually true. I do not remember were it was but several officers had been in a gun battle. After all was said and done there was one officer dead and several wounded. Turns out that the one that was killed and the others that were injured either had brass in their pockets or in their hands (the killed officer).

    All throughout the academy the beat it into our heads that you act as you are trained. The more you train a certain way the more you begin to act and do those things. While there is a lot of things that you are trained to do only in times of Great Bodily Harm (meaning kill another person) its proven that the body and mind will revert back to training. Thats the only thing the body knows. Thats also why a lot of academies are training that when you shoot your weapon that you are facing the threat not standing sideways.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

    http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Nowwhat%...5Csuphomey.jpg

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

  18. #18
    OfficerResource.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt
    That's exactly why I didn't get pumped up on a call or before an entry. If nothing else, I stopped, took a few deep breaths and calmed myself down before any police action if I had the opportunity. It's much safer to operate on brain power than adrenalin.
    I agree Sometimes on this. Some calls I like to get amped or "in the zone". When We are on a SRT Call I like to Get "in the zone". We are trained a bit different than what the academy teaches. We are taught to scan quickly check corners and not to get tunnel vision.

  19. #19
    Virginian's Avatar
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    the body and mind will revert back to training.
    I can definitely vouch for that. During my concealed carry course the other day, I was tapping the place where the mag release would be on the service weapon I was issued (Sig), but unfortunately it's not the same on my HK Also I kept catching myself reaching to where my mag pouch was on my duty belt to reload. Habits die hard, and muscle memory is awesome.

  20. #20
    OfficerResource.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian
    I can definitely vouch for that. During my concealed carry course the other day, I was tapping the place where the mag release would be on the service weapon I was issued (Sig), but unfortunately it's not the same on my HK Also I kept catching myself reaching to where my mag pouch was on my duty belt to reload. Habits die hard, and muscle memory is awesome.
    Are you a LEO ?

 

 
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