Thursday, November 19, 2015

Police can change how they answer calls to reduce deadly outcomes.

When I shot and directed video interviews I would remind the interviewee to repeat the question before answering, this technique helped prevent yes or no answers that would then force the editor to use the question being asked by the interviewer even when they did not want to hear the interviewer's voice.

I am beginning to think the repeat the question technique might reduce violent calls when police respond to a police dispatcher's call. When the police dispatcher sends out a call that there is a belligerent pregnant bi-polar woman wielding a 3 inch knife, usually the police closest to the incident will respond that they can take "the call".

But is it enough to simply acknowledge "the call"? What if the police officer was required to REPEAT the call verbatim from the dispatcher. The dispatcher calls out a report of a belligerent bi-polar pregnant woman wielding a 3 inch knife. I believe the officer taking the call should respond "Car 123 can respond to the report of a belligerent bi-polar woman wielding a 3 inch knife". The repeating of the dispatcher's call gives the police officer a chance to hear themselves state the situation and may give them a better sense on how to handle the call.

I believe the police officers or enforcement officers who took the following call may have handled the result in a more intelligent way, such as using either a stun gun or an 18 inch to 36 inch baton to separate the woman from her knife, if they had been required to repeat back to the dispatcher what they had heard from the dispatcher. 

Instead we have execution by gun from a very safe distance.  My apologies, the video I linked to is no longer available.

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