Tuesday, December 3, 2019


The ability to speak to someone and not at someone is critical in Law Enforcement, depending on how you approach a situation or subject can dictate how that interaction is going to go.

Speaking is one of the best tools a LEO has access to, it can both escalate and deescalate any situation. It is the main tool utilized in investigations and communicating with people. In my opinion it should be mandatory that all LEOs be able to effectively communicate…I think it is actually. Anyway, I say this because the art of speaking to someone appears to be a dying art amongst newly sworn officers, not everyone…but a significant number. 

I have witnessed incidents turn hostile very fast because the subject didn’t like how he/she was being spoken to. I say newer officers, but don’t think some older officers are exempt…I’ve seen them speak at people as well. When speaking to someone the main objective is to defuse any tension or stressors present to get that person to a place where they are ready to communicate with you. Due to the uniform there is always going to be tension, people are always going to be hesitant in communicating with someone in uniform because in their mind they are evaluating whether or not they did anything wrong while they are speaking to that officer.

Understand this and immediately interrupt that thinking so they can be ready to speak effectively. I have had people talk themselves into handcuff many times because they got to a place of comfort with me and disclosed the incriminating information I needed without even realizing they did it. 

The golden rules when it comes to speaking effectively is to always understand that you are in control, you don’t have to establish dominance, so speak to the person instead of at the person. Never consider someone as being below you or in a position where they have to speak to you because they aren’t and they don’t have to speak to you.

Communicate with the subject as if they are a friend, establish that level of rapport, but do some with the goal of obtaining information in mind. Allow them to take you through the conversation, if it gets off topic to far bring it back through the use of repetition under the guise that you desire to understand aspects further. These are some of the techniques I use all the time to gather information and majority of the time it works, when it doesn’t the person just wants to remain silent. 

My challenge to you is to communicate effectively when speaking to those around you, but also practice gathering information and simply speaking to another person in person. This is a dying art, it is one of the most important tools, and it is simply doing something everyone can do…TALK! 

The Mind is connected to the Mouth?!