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TAC comms and impact factors.

Samuel Bache

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Good evening everyone, i'm back again!

This is one of several posts on key topics I have learned about as a Special in training that will hopefully help others who are going through the process, help the knowledge stick in my mind and allow others with more experience to give me constructive criticism on areas my knowledge may be incorrect in.

TAC comms (tactical communication) is what is used by Police officers to relay commands or requests to others in order to gain control of a situation.

TAC comms are particularly important when using control skills on subjects so it is clear what it is they need to do in order to reach a state of compliance.

For example when applying a primary control skill pressure point to a none compliant subject we could be shouting a TAC comm such as "Drop it!", the subject then knows exactly what it is they must do in order for the primary control skill to be halted, otherwise we risk breaching human right's article 3, prohibition of torture and degrading treatment.

Primary control skills: When the officer stops, the pain stops and there should be no long lasting medical implications.

TAC comms are not limited to gaining compliance from resisting suspects. Tactical communication can also be used to help people in stress, need of help or any other situation.

There are a couple of useful mnemonics that you may find useful.

CUDSA is a perfect TAC comm model for showing empathy and negotiating during sensitive situations.

Comfort, reassure the individual.

Understand, show compassion.

Define, what exactly is the issue?

Seek ways of solving the issue.

Agree to work with the individual to tackle the issue.

LEAPS, is a highly universal TAC comm that can be applied to any situation, however it is particularly good for dealing with conflict.

Listen, to what is being said.

Empathise, show understanding.

Ask what is going on, why is there a situation?

Paraphrase, repeat back what has been said to show you have listened and to clarify.

Summarise, condense every prior step and put our findings into a statement.

Impact factors are things that we know or find out that prompt us to deal with situations is different ways. Events the police deal with are extremely fluid and can change rapidly.

The 3 P principle: (Used in conjunction with the NDM)

Prior: Any information before an encounter that can fore warn us of possible threats ( such as subjects known to have weapons) that changes the way in which we approach or deal with something/ someone. MAPPA meetings and shift briefings are a good example of "prior".

Present: Anything happening during the encounter, we should always be alert and pay attention to our surroundings, colleagues and conscious/ sub conscious thoughts.We could physically witness something that changes the way we deal with a situation or even know sub consciously that the situation being approached does not feel right so even more caution is needed.

Post: Similar to the "review" section of the NDM. We look, listen and learn from our encounter through debriefings, statement writing, use of force reports etc...

Coopers colour code:

This is a traffic light style system that describes situational awareness of an officer depending on surroundings and situation.

White: Switched off, vulnerable, asleep.

Yellow: Switched on and alert, good 360 degree awareness (optimum level for patrol and when things appear quiet)

Orange: Potential situation, heightened level of awareness, evaluate risk and decide course of action.

Red: Fight or flight, the threat is high and imminent.

Remember POP...

Person, Object, Place. All of these factors may effect the way in which encounters of dealt with.

Person: Is there anything regarding the person we are dealing with that can have an impact on how we deal with the particular event? This can be things such as weapons markers, drugs markers, mental illness, influence of drugs/ alcohol etc. Remember to be aware of the subjects hands, pay attention to hands that keep going to pockets. If the subject has been stopped and is under caution, ask them to keep there hands away from there pockets and present there palms to be sure no weapons or other objects or being concealed.

Object: Anything in the hand or near by that can be picked up and used as a weapon. Be vigilant as weapons can be adapted or improvised from objects nearby that at first do not appear out of the ordinary. Such as a glass bottle in a bar.

Place: Pay close attention to the environment we find ourselves in as that itself can be full of hazards including something as trivial as busy traffic.

Hopefully someone out there is finding these notes to be useful!

I am enjoying and taking on board everyone's feedback and enjoying my attempt to keep active on the forum!

Goodnight. :pc:

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All I would add is that these things that you have broken down into mnemonics are not very useful unless they are integrated into your behaviour.

If you are in a dangerous situation thinking "P"...I will do A...."O"....I must look out for Bs...."P"....Is there anything about this place that might be a C....

You are functioning poorly. All of this should be your natural response and part of your switching on to a perceived threat.

Use these tools to mentally rehearse what should be going through your mind as you step into a "situation". Then use the tools to reflect-Did you consider all the threats? Did you mitigate all the risks? If you didn't do it again.

These are rehearsal and training tools-Do not rely on them in the field. We don't tell our officers to keep breathing because it's supposed to be natural and automatic.

All of these things should be like breathing-Don't use a flowchart as your defence.


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Thank you HMS, your are an encyclopedia of knowledge !

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Thank you HMS, your are an encyclopedia of knowledge !

That's very kind, the fact is I'm just an old git who has been doing it for years.....I wish I still had hair....

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