The Importance of Position and Distancing

These professional make contact with citizens everyday, and for the most part these contacts end with no type of conflict. However, since most contacts may end with no incidence or conflict it is easy for the Law Enforcement (LE) or the Security Officer to become complacent and forget that ANY contact is a potential danger to the officer. A great deal of the contacts consist of taking statements from ordinary citizens who are either reporting or were a witness to a crime or a situation. Unfortunately, there is an element of our society whom hates or despises any person of authority, and has a special dislike for the men and women in uniform. This means that an officer doesn’t always know if the person he is interviewing falls into that category. If he isn’t aware or is complacent he leaves himself vulnerable to an ambush or blitz attack by the individual.

An officer may increase his chances for survival by using simple techniques of position and distancing. These two factors can mean the difference in going home at night at the end of their shift, or having a notification delivered of the Officer’s tragic death to their spouse and family. A LE or Security professional’s only job is to go home safely after every shift.

Distance Relationship is simply the amount of distance between an officer and the person(s) he is in contact with. Minimum distance between a contact should be the officer’s arm length + the contacts arm length or approximately six to seven feet. This allows the officer time to react if the contact attempts an assault on the officer.

Of course, the more agitated or upset a contact is or becomes the greater the distance should become. Many officers let their emotions get the best of them, and when they become angry will at times step closer to a contact to “get in their face” and this is a mistake. If an Officer is within arms length he cannot sufficiently react if the contact suddenly attacks.

To further ones survivability Body Position is paramount. If an officer stands facing a contact squared up he leaves multiple and easily found targets for an assailant to attack. By simply standing at an angle, or Bladed (Boxer or Martial Artist stance), to the contact an officer minimizes the target selection available to a would-be attacker. The non-gun hand side should be forward to protect the officer’s firearm from being taken.

It is also recommended that an officer keep his hands free at all times. Never have his hands in his pockets or otherwise compromised. If taking notes, hold the pad just below eye level when writing so he/she can keep a visual on the contact. If attacked an officer can throw the pad at the attacker as a distraction, and could even use the pen as a soft target weapon.

If not taking notes, the hands should be positioned in front of the officer in a relaxed non-threatening manner. As the contact becomes more agitated the higher the hands should become until they are ultimately held in a boxer’s position or a martial arts combat position. This will insure the officer’s ability to react and defend if forced to by the contact.

By keeping a proper distance and a bladed body position an Officer enhances his reaction time and chance for survival should he/or she be attacked. These factors combined with their training and constant awareness will put the advantage on their side should they be faced with the threat of an attack.

Be Strong! Be Safe!

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