The Participation Blog

Use Your Voice and Body Language

Excessive police violence, particularly against Black people, is now part of the national conversation and it’s needed to be. A buddy of mine – a 25-year veteran Wisconsin cop (retired) – sent me a copy of the Training and Standards document that spells out the Use-of-Force Continuum taught to law enforcement officers. This policy guides how situations should be resolved and how control is supposed to progress, starting with a simple Officer Presence (a legal authority), followed by Verbalization (commands for compliance), Empty-Hand Control (some kind of bodily force), Less-Lethal Methods (Batons, sprays, energy devices) and lastly, Lethal Force (used only if a suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or another individual). Facilitators, social workers and cops are in the conflict resolution business. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with a lot of cops over the years and fully realize that their stakes can be a helluva lot higher than mine, but I’ve had a lot of conversations with them about it and they’ve agreed that the principles are comparable. The following is worthwhile food for thought for using your voice. Read More

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