How To Behave When the Police Show Up – Part One

June 5, 2016 4:04 pm

From Operator Seven:

As a former police officer, I responded to hundreds of domestic disturbance calls. A vast majority of these calls were in a residence. Some police departments have policies making a mandatory arrest every time officers are dispatched to a ‘domestic.’ Some state laws may require an arrest whenever there is evidence of injury. No two calls are the same. Some are legitimate while others are, well, police officers can tell the guy is being set up for failure. In these cases, an individual’s actions may dictate if they talk themselves into being arrested.  These are the ones I’ll be discussing.

When in an argument with the significant other, someone’s blood will get up. Tempers may rise. Someone dials 911, then the police show up. WHEN they do, what I am about to tell you may go against all the training you have received and against everything the military has made you into, but it is important to NOT have assertive, aggressive, Alpha behavior. Do NOT appear hostile to the police officers. It will go badly if you do – especially if you know you are being set up. You may very well be your worst enemy. Here are some tips to help you remain calm should you find yourself in this situation.


Assume a neutral stance. This is paramount. Do not appear to have a combative stance. Do not “blade off.” That is a big red  flag and danger signal to police officers, and they will be prepared to fight. One wrong move on your part will end up with stainless steel bracelets around your wrists. Face the officer(s) full on. This may, and probably will, go against all training that has been ingrained into you, but it is for your own benefit and I’m talking long term big picture.

If you know yo are being set up and are trying to explain that to the officers, and this is my voice of experience talking, they will be more receptive if you have a non-threatening posture. Your body language speaks volumes. If you appear relaxed, that will put the officers at ease to an extent. Who will look better in a staged domestic call – the guy who is calmly explaining why this is nonsense or the ranting, raving, pissed off woman? Turn her into her own worst enemy. She may be plotting & planning against you, but you need to turn her in to your best asset and argument for your own case. The officers are watching and noting everything,  and it will be in their report.

“One wrong move on your part will end up with stainless steel bracelets around your wrists.”

Keep your hands where they can be seen at all times, and  above your waist. They’re called handguns and pocket knives for a reason. A person’s hands are an officers biggest threat. This is taught in all police academies from day one. Think of your own training if you have any – combatives, hand-to-hand, martial arts, any and all take downs you have learned. What is the one commonality? Watch the hands. If you talk with your hands, that’s fine, normal & understandable. Just keep them visible at all times. This also ties in with the stance.

If you feel you must move your hands out of the officers line of sight, tell them what you are doing and why. Ask “Sir, I need a cigarette/ dip. Do you mind if I get one? They’re in my front/ back pocket.” He or she may have attended a funeral for an officer, or friend, who was calmly speaking to an individual who reached into their pants, or coat, pulled a gun, and shot and killed that officer. This will be going through their mind along with all other Officer Down domestic calls they have ever read, been taught or heard about. Again, tell them why you want to move your hands “I gotta scratch my ass/ back… Can I reach for a cigarette/ dip?” Don’t be surprised if they pat you down for weapons before you do. Again it’s for their safety – and yours. Keep your hands in view. I cannot stress this enough.

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