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command voice

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by SSN Vet, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I once observed a confrontation where the person confronted said "Back off" in a tone where I just knew he was armed (although this was L.A. where he would not have had a carry permit), with matching body language -- not aggressive, but very serious. The jerk he was dealing with stopped coming forward and then after a moment turned and left.
     
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  2. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    Some years ago, I prevented a robbery in a small grocery store without saying a word--simply with movement, body, language, and facial expressions. The robber panicked, ran out the door, and got into a car with getaway driver. The left fast, going the wrong way.

    I was carrying, but before presenting a weapon or saying anything, I moved to get a clear shot with no one about to move behind thh man, and to have a backstop.

    In retrospect, there were things about the situation that should have caused me to not enter the store in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  3. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Learned about command voice 53 years ago at Fort Dix.
    Improved my technique at Forts Benning, BrAgg, and CAmpbell.
    20years on the street it stood me in good stead.
    Been retired 29 years and I still use it.
    Wife sometimes asks when she hears it , " whY are you mad? "
    I have explained it dozens of times, I'm not mad, it is a technique. Maybe one of these years she will get it.
     
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  4. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Verbal judo would be something else in my opinion. Verbal Judo is able to escalate or deescalate a situation depending on your needs. Walking into a hostile block in a detention facility, Verbal Judo could allow me to walk out without a fight. Command voice on the other hand would be able to convince an inmate that if he were to fight, he would lose. Command Voice is about showing your balls (figuratively) are bigger and made of brass than the other guy.
     
  5. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I've actually been on many serious armed (or potentially armed) encounters on the street involving multiple officers - all pointing their weapons and trying to use "command voice" at the same time... Very, very bad scene - and usually with a much bigger bad outcome possibility than I ever wanted to be part of... One one side of the deal someone who's going down (one way or the other), scared, intoxicated or crazy (maybe) and not certain who to respond to (whether to freeze, give up, comply, or do something else....) and all of it while one officer or other was trying with profanity to achieve what a single, calm authoritative voice (command voice) might actually accomplish...

    Here's what everyone needs to remember about using a command voice... if more than one "good guy" is involved - only one person should be talking to the potential opponent, period - no one else, if at all possible... This sort of stuff requires training with some serious focus since these kind of tactics can greatly reduce the need for "use of force"... Next, if it were me, I'd concentrate on working with anyone (or any unit) I was training to get them to realize that the less words used the better the effect... and lastly I'd want to seriously emphasize that profanity might have its place - using a command voice is much more about presence and keeping the message simple (do this... don't do that... hold it right there... let me see your hands... etc.) and profanity just gets in the way of the serious important communications needed to bring someone under your control - or at least get them to stop whatever bad things they're doing...

    I still use command voice on occasion (and I haven't carried a sidearm since the day I retired on back in 1995). I'll bet in those few encounters (as few as possible for me...) the target would have never guessed that I wasn't armed... Just one of the little things that working the streets for years taught me... and I'm long away from back alleys and bad news drinking spots (and a lot older as well...).
     
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  6. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I couldn't agree more
    On scene with multiple officers the initiating officer is in charge and everyone else is
    support.
    If a senior Sgt or higher want to take over , let them. IT is about tactical control and discipline.
    We trained for this and dept that don't train for it are doing street cops a disservice.

    I found a forceful command followed by a convincing "DO IT NOW"really worked well.
     
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    Let us keep in mind that for the civilian defender, the objective is to keep from getting hurt, and if at all possible, to do so without having to resort to the use of deadly force, and to avoid creating anything that could muddy the after-the-fact evaluation of justification.

    That calls for economy of words, clear enunciation, instructions that are unlikely fo be misunderstood, and avoiding saying anything that could be deemed malicious or insulting....
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  8. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Very well said Kleanbore - particularly the part about language for an armed citizen...
     
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  9. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    I've had people (OK, my wife) say I need to quit using my "Army voice" sometimes. I was in for 28 years, and Yes, for part of that I was an Infantry Drill at Benning... I can say that whenever the kids failed to heed my wife's orders, they jumped when I spoke. In fact, I never had anyone fail to listen up to what I had to say in civilian, or military life. They may have thought I was an arrogant a-hole, but they sure as hell payed heed...

    Can't say as to weather or not that would translate into compliance with armed conflict. I was a correctional officer in a level 4 prison for 10 years, and it only worked about 50% of the time on convicts... I was always out numbered, (except in the secured housing units) but they were normally unarmed. Convicts are a different breed too... and they have an audience to perform for in each other that changes the dynamic...
     
  10. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    To what extent do you guys think command voice works for a female? I have seen videos of female cops where the commands went totally unheeded, I'm wondering to what extent a BG just doesn't associate a female voice with the possibility of getting shot. To pick a couple of voices we are all familiar with from current news broadcasts, imagine a female cop or would-be defender with the voice of AOC or Elizabeth Warren...
     
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  11. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of females I worked with were more forceful than guys
    Ex
    .
    Me drop the gun, do it now.

    Her,
    " drop the gun a hole or I will shoot you. "
     
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  12. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    This. Very much this. I saw situations like this happen all the time in corrections when dealing with large scale fights or other incidents. Add in the fact that you are in a concrete room with very little soft furniture, it compiles the chaos when you are fighting the echos of several command voices. Thankfully the facility I worked in attracted plenty of former military personnel. It was pretty easy (for me anyway) to work with who would be loud voice vs support based on age, experience, training and so on.
     
  13. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    I wasn't referring so much to the words, but rather the pitch and intonation of the voice.
     
  14. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    They used to call it "Officer Presence". A big man in a spiffy uniform with a firm voice exerted a lot of control.. Today's LEO in baseball caps and BDU's don't present that same image of authority that was the case many years ago.

    That was a different world back then.
     
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  15. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    In my experience on the street in almost every situation.... a female officer has one very big advantage in a confrontation... Once weapons are in hand - the offender is usually mortally afraid of any female pointing a firearm in his or her direction.... In their world any woman or girl pointing a gun at you is going to shoot - and will be aiming to do some serious damage. I've seen some very bad actors get pretty weak in the knees with a female officer pointing a gun at them...

    Can't count the times that I've pointed a hand gun at someone that just sneered at me (you get an entirely different reaction if you're pointing a riot gun at them - but that's another story...).

    After saying the above I must again state that "command voice" or presence isn't possible for some - they simply don't have it (although it can be learned....) and their physical stature and actual voice might work against some... As that movie character (thank you Clint Eastwood...) said "a man's got to know his limitations" and that applies to the girls as well as the boys...

    Here's another real advantage a female officer has that I've personally witnessed on more than one occasion.... With a soft voice and a bit of compassion showing I've been in more than one potential all out fight -that never occurred because a female cop was on the scene and got the bad boy to stand down without the slightest resistance - and I'm certain that without that advantage we'd have been teeth and eyeballs until it was over (and the good guys don't always win in a real physical encounter that involves biting, kicking, gouging - all the good stuff..).

    Glad I'm long out of that world - and intend to stay out of it - if at all possible...
     
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  16. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Other side of the coin is a female bad guy.

    The only time I ever got hurt on the job was a 250 lb female dock worker wearing flannel.
    I'm had the stick in my hand entering a bar brawl, saw her pummeling a brother officer, said I can't hit a woman with a stick, so I put it on my belt and went hands on.
    She broke my nose.
    Blood everywhere.
    Took the stick back out and had to play catch up to cuff her for her pending ambulance ride

    I was the butt end of lot of jokes because of that incident.

    Like:
    What is red, white, and blue?

    Doc, after fighting with a girl.
     
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  17. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Trunk Monkey writes:

    Yes, a "command voice" should be readily-backed by "command action."
     
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  18. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Only female I ever hit swung her purse at my face. It was full of rolled coins and really rattled my cage. I knocked her winding and cuffed her up, much to the approval of everyone in the bar.
     
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  19. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    There’s a natural aversion to getting rough with a female among most guys that I worked with until you had to... and in fact that’s not a very good situation since you end up reacting after being assaulted.

    The longer you’re on the street the less you believe they’re the “weaker” sex.

    Just one more reason why your tactics are much more important than your weapons...
     
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  20. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    My personal practice is never to demand anything of anyone until I've figured out what I'm willing to do if they ignore me.

    You can assume you will be called enough times to make bluffing a poor practice.
     
  21. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Toward the end of my career I did a lot of public presentations to some very skeptical groups. MY subtle message to them was to prevent being shot, hit, tazed, gassed or punched, follow a few simple rules.
    1 Don't point a gun at a cop
    2 Comply with all instructions
    3 Don't argue, swear, cuss or cast aspersions on the officer or his momma.

    I doubt it did any good.
     
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  22. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I like to tell any who care to listen to old war [ street ] storys,I never EVER hit a "lady".
    But I sure had to take down and 'soften' a few females !.
    The first one to spit in your face is a great lesson :)
     
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  23. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I don't know that I'd talk of "command voice" as much as "command presence". Let me elaborate here:

    Some people have that booming voice that commands attention whenever you speak to them. One officer who works for me is that way. He could be telling you about his miniature poodle's favorite squishy toy, and he'd still sound like a drill instructor taking control of a bunch of recruits in basic training. On the other hand, some people just don't have the "voice" needed to sound commanding on its own, and they can sometimes sound ridiculous when they try to sound commanding. I have another officer I've worked with who is like that. This guy is a legitimate tough-guy, and a great cop. Very few people would want to get in a fight with him, and those who did haven't ever prevailed in my presence. But, he has a voice that doesn't exactly command a ton of authority, and when he tries to make his voice sound commanding (which he does) I almost laugh every time. You know who else sounds very unconvincing based on their tone alone? Mike Tyson. I wouldn't want to get in a fist fight with him, either.

    Regardless, we all have the voice that we have. But, you can still give off a commanding presence, because a command presence involves much more than just voice itself. It's a combination of posture, eye contact, what you say, how you say it, and how you carry yourself. It's an issue of overall confidence that convinces an opponent that you're not someone they want to tangle with. It does make a difference, and if you watch any rookie cop handle an intense situation when compared to a veteran officer, you'll immediately see the difference (and it's a dramatic difference). In other words, it's an issue of confidence that should be seen in the entire way you handle a situation: calm, cool, collected, forceful, controlled, and in control. It's what you say as much as how you say it, and it's how you say it as much as what you say.
     
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  24. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    scaatylobo writes:

    I've said this, too. A "lady" never needs hitting, or even to be fought. As soon as a female proves herself not to be one, though, she'll get what's necessary without hesitation. Holding back on an adversary just because she was female has gotten people dead.
     
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  25. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    It can also piss the other guy off and turn the encounter into a monkey dance.

    One thing that I've noticed in every Managing Unknown Contacts video I've seen by Craig Douglas is that he doesn't raise his voice until the (potential) bad guy has made it clear that he's not going to respect the boundaries you've set.

    He also emphasizes that he never directly insults the other person. It's always "Back TF off!" As opposed to "Back off MF!" .

    I have never "barked at a shady character" and not had the incident escalate immediately. In fact it almost always stopped being about the incident and instantly became about me "disrespecting" him.

    As I mentioned earlier I don't raise my voice ever. If I'm at work I state my expectations clearly, "I need you to leave immediately or I'm required to call the police." If they do anything but comply I start dialing.

    When I'm not at work (not that I have a lot of cause) I follow the MUC model. "Hey guy can I get you to hold up for a second." " I need you to stop right there please." BACK TF OFF!" At which point I'm probably deploying a weapon.
     
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