Courts 2

You are the training officer in your department. Your agency has been receiving an unusually high number of Bivens Actions (lawsuits and complaints) from citizens stating that officers have been using excessive force to make arrests. The Chief has tasked you with developing a training program that will teach officers about verbal judo and de-escalation techniques.

Research using the Internet, your textbook, the AIU library, and other resources to support your discussion on the following:

  • Provide an example of how an officer can use verbal judo to de-escalate a volatile situation.
  • Provide an example of how an officer’s words can escalate a volatile situation, thus making it worse.

Remember, mere words are powerful in volatile situations.


Example of using verbal judo to de-escalate a volatile situation: An officer responds to a call involving a man who is shouting and waving a weapon. The officer approaches the man and calmly says, “Sir, I understand you’re upset. Can you tell me what’s going on?” By acknowledging the man’s feelings, the officer is showing empathy and de-escalating the situation. The officer can then continue to use active listening and reframing techniques to diffuse the situation and find a peaceful resolution.

Example of how an officer’s words can escalate a volatile situation: An officer responds to a call involving a woman who is upset about a ticket she received. The officer approaches the woman and says, “Listen, you were breaking the law and now you have to pay for it.” By using a confrontational tone and not acknowledging the woman’s feelings, the officer is escalating the situation. The woman may respond with anger and the situation could become more volatile. The officer could have de-escalated the situation by using active listening and empathy to understand the woman’s perspective.

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