The anatomy of victory (part one): What does it take to win?

Winning on the street comes in many forms and means different things to different people.

Winning in law enforcement encounters can be gaining voluntary compliance through communication and negotiation or it can ebb and flow back and forth through a vast array of outcomes up to and including deadly force. Winning to the cop means one thing, while to an adversary winning on his terms is quite another.

What about winning in the eyes of the public? How important is public support or decent when we cops use force? What outcomes can we expect during a dynamic encounter, what about in the aftermath, with public support, without it?

We cops know that the use of force is always an option taken as a last resort when we have exhausted all other means and our decision is forced by the actions of the person we are dealing with. Reasonable and necessary force is not something we cops take lightly.

Attributes of the Victor

Winning in the arena — the places where interaction and efforts are made to resolve dangerous and dynamic encounters in real time — requires a certain breed of person, a person capable of remaining mentally calm. A person who can think both critically and creatively. By critically thinking I mean the ability to focus and to achieve understanding (real-time situation awareness), to evaluate viewpoints, and to solve problems.

Creative thinking is equally important, called fingerspitzengefühl or the feeling in the tip of one’s fingers or feel for the situation — Napoleon called it a “gut” feeling — we cops call this ability our sixth sense.

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