From Operator Seven:
Attitude and Speech
Always remain respectful. This shouldn’t be difficult. Say Yes Sir, No Sir, Ma’am, Officer, Deputy, Sergeant, whatever, but be respectful. It will pay off in spades.
Do not present an attitude to the police. You may be pissed off at the world, but do not take it out on the officers. The police are there trying to understand what happened. If you have a smug, smartass, punk attitude, it will not go well for you. Remember, you are using her as a weapon to make your case. Be polite. “See what I have to deal with Officer? I’ve been putting up with this and now she’s lost it and here you are.” That will get you a lot further than “What the f— do you want? Why the hell are you asking me that? What gives you the right..?” Which person would you believe? Or, more importantly, be more receptive to listening to? A foul-mouthed punk, or a respectful “Yessir, she’s a raving bitch?”
Do not rant & rave. Along with the attitude comes the words. We’re military. We’re police. We cuss. We put on the uniform & become instant gutter mouths. Been there, done that, got the t-shirts for both uniforms- police & military. Make your case, but do not be a ranting lunatic when you do it. Again, let her rant. If you cuss, drop f-bombs, even carpet f-bomb the place fine. Just don’t cuss out the officers. There’s a big difference. Remember how you would talk to, or even cuss TO your command – but never AT it. Same case here. Keep it to a minimum if possible. The calmer you are, the stronger you make your case. It will go into the police report. “Mr. John Doe appeared calm and was cooperative upon arrival” vs “Mr. John Doe was argumentative and ranting incoherently upon arrival.” If you go before a judge, how would you want to be seen on paper?
“The calmer you are, the stronger you make your case.”
Do not change locations unless directed to do so. There’s a very accurate saying among law enforcement officers that domestics will migrate from rooms with few weapons, like bedrooms, to rooms with many weapons, like kitchens. The officers will keep their partner in their line of sight. Go where they tell you, don’t leave the room unless told, directed, or escorted. The more you cooperate, the smoother things will go, and the better you will look in the end.
“Remain Calm. If emotion is high, judgement is low.”
Go for the Oscar. No matter how mad you are internally, keep it in check. Be respectful to the officers. You may be thinking to yourself “Officer, this is a total bulls*** call, but if you go around the block I’ll make it worth your while.” Keep those thoughts in check, and go for the “Best Actor In A Tense Situation” award. This will also work towards your benefit because typically, the more calm you remain, the more it will set her off – which makes your case in front of the officers stronger. Again the voice of experience, nothing will set off a pissed-off woman more than knowing she’s trying to set the guy up and it’s falling apart in front of her. She can’t be the victim & the officers won’t drag the guy off in cuffs like she wants. She’s not going to get her way. That will get under her skin like you can’t imagine.
“Go for the Oscar.”
Do what the officers tell you to do. I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. The only thing the officers know when they walk into a domestic situation is what is put out over the radio to them from dispatch, and that’s never all, let alone enough, information. If they tell you to get on the ground, just get on the ground. If they tell you to get spread eagle against the wall, just do it. Domestics are the 2nd leading cause of Officer Fatalities. To say they are on high alert is an understatement. If a 911 call comes in & there’s a loud movie of a fight in the background, dispatch will think & the officers will think they’re going to a brawl and they will be ready to fight because that’s what the dispatcher heard on the phone. The reality might very well be you were watching tv and just turned up the volume up to block out her rantings of the fit she’s having when she dialed 911. Just do what police tell you to do when they get there. Cooperate, cooperate, cooperate.
“Domestics are the 2nd leading cause of Officer Fatalities.”
Do not be surprised if you are ordered to leave. Yes it’s probably your house and you are paying all the bills, but for whatever reason, nine out of ten times the man is directed to pack a bug-out bag and leave for the night – especially when kids are involved, even if they’re step-kids. I cannot explain it. I never fully understood it as far as why the man has to be the one to leave. If you are told to pack a bag, just do it. You won’t like it – I certainly wouldn’t if I were in your shoes. Keep in mind as much as you possibly can that this is one part of the picture. You are now fighting for your livelihood, your kids, and your name. Go for the night and make your battle plan. Live to fight another day. Above all, go peacefully, and in an orderly manner. Remember – it all goes into the police report.
Speak up. Voice your fears. It goes against the grain & nature for males to say “I’m afraid” 99% of the time, especially to another guy, and definitely about a woman. If she has hit you with any object, tell the police. That is domestic battery and she should be arrested. Photographs should be taken that night of any scratches, red marks etc and then at 24, 48 and 72 hrs to document the bruising process. This is medical and legal evidence. If she has scratched your face, arms, or back, tell the police. Even if the girl is 4’10” and 85 lbs. If she has gone Fatal Attraction on you, tell the police and ask her to be removed. Get an OP first thing the next morning. You do not have to submit to physical battery simply because you are larger than her. If someone is threatening your life and you feel it is a viable threat that she is capable of carrying out, then report it. Take it to the police. Tell your battle buddy or command. Don’t keep it to yourself or just your family.
Once it is obvious that you are in an ongoing domestic situation, document everything. Keep a journal. Keep phone bills. Record everything. Use a digital recorder or even a smart phone. Record it & there’s more evidence for your case. Let the officers hear it, your command, especially your attorney. Call the police or go to the department and make an informational report for your own being. Cover your own six.
Contact Second Class Citizen. We have a network that can give counsel and an ear. We can provide a place to go where there’s no judgement and a lot of understanding. We will help you keep your sanity, and you will know you are not alone.
Some of the points I can’t stress enough. Be mindful of the fact that officers are neutral when they show up. They gather statements, facts and look at the whole picture and go from there. The legal paper trail is started from the first time the police are contacted in person or on the phone. Use it to your advantage. If you have to react, follow the above rules. Write them down. Memorize them. Do what you have to do, but follow the rules. It may save you a trip to county jail, the hospital or God forbid the morgue.