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Domestic Disturbances - Officer Safety and Calming Techniques

NCJ Number
F B Schreiber
Date Published
0 pages
This film reviews some important officer safety procedures concerning domestic disturbance calls and presents some practical alternatives for calming agitated disputants.
Because of their mobility, relatively short response time, and ability to deal with violence, law enforcement officers are often called on to answer domestic dispute calls. However, such calls are disliked by most law enforcement officers because of the physical danger involved and the unpredictable behavior of the disputants. The film suggests that police officers receiving such calls obtain as much information as possible from the dispatcher. When arriving at the location, officers should maintain a low profile, park at least one house away, and, unless faced by a life-threatening emergency, wait for their backup to arrive. They should listen and look for clues to the situation, use a triangular approach to the front door, knock matter-of-factly, and wait until the door is opened. Officers should also look for the presence of weapons and other dangers before entering the room. Officers may calm disputants by creating distractions, such as asking to use the telephone; getting the disputants seated to reduce physical tensions; and focusing on the immediate problem. Suggestions are also given for making a safe exit. A manual accompanies the film.