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  • Controlling Emotions

    I'm hoping to go the academy in july for a department that I'm in the hiring process for, and this is a question I've thought about for a long time.

    When you repsond to a Domestic, and the woman or child has bruises, blackeyes, etc. is it hard not to get fired up and mad? I know that I would never lash out or anything, and that getting mad and yelling can sometimes make the situation worse, but isnt it hard to not want to just sock the guy?

    thanks for the respones in advance.
    WE DON'T GET PAID TO LOSE

    "Be nice, until it's time NOT to be nice" ~ Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse

  • #2
    Emotions

    As you progress through a law enforcement career, you're going to encounter many situations where you'll have to control your emotions. Domestic calls are just one of them. Domestics can also be among the most dangerous calls you'll roll on. Don't be afraid to listen to the older heads who've been out there for a while. Keep one thing in mind. If you can't control your emotions, you probably can't do your job.

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    • #3
      That is good advice there.
      Just remember that although you are a cop,expected to be hardened to what you see and do you are still a human being.
      Do your job to the best of your training and after many domestic call outs you will become more immune.
      It is good to throw yourself into your hobbies and surround yourself with the ones you love and your friends once you are off duty and let the day go.Tomorrow there will always be another needing your help.
      Be careful out there!

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      • #4
        Getting mad is ok, you just have to keep it in so you can handle the call without doing something stupid and getting sued or someone hurt.
        A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. I know I wouldnt lose control or anything like that, I was just curious if over time, you stop reacting emotionally to a call like that, or actually any call.
          WE DON'T GET PAID TO LOSE

          "Be nice, until it's time NOT to be nice" ~ Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse

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          • #6
            Sometimes, the best way to deal with the frustration and anger at the way humans treat each other, is to make an extra effort to see that the wheels of justice don't get derailed. Make a good case. Then go home and hug your family.
            Jerry
            "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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            • #7
              Of course you're going to get mad and frustrated on calls. If you go to a domestic and the husband beat up his wife, you take the husband into custody and while you're on your way out to the cruiser you give him a couple cheap shots, number one you're behavior is unethical, and if I were partner, we'd be going back to the station to have a chat with our supervisor because now I'm liable for what you just did. Second, since you took justice into your own hands now you have an excessive force suit against you which could possibly take away your family's home, car, boat, motorcycle, source of income, not to mention possible jail time. And what have you done for the girl who was just beat up? Not given her justice.

              Just remember this when you feel your blood boiling, "is this sh*t-bag worth my career?"
              -Stay safe

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              • #8
                Originally posted by J_Mann
                Of course you're going to get mad and frustrated on calls. If you go to a domestic and the husband beat up his wife, you take the husband into custody and while you're on your way out to the cruiser you give him a couple cheap shots, number one you're behavior is unethical, and if I were partner, we'd be going back to the station to have a chat with our supervisor because now I'm liable for what you just did. Second, since you took justice into your own hands now you have an excessive force suit against you which could possibly take away your family's home, car, boat, motorcycle, source of income, not to mention possible jail time. And what have you done for the girl who was just beat up? Not given her justice.

                Just remember this when you feel your blood boiling, "is this sh*t-bag worth my career?"
                The best thing that you can do is not let the job get to you. Obviously, we are all human beings and some of the stuff you will see on the job will bother you, it's just human nature. But, you have to realize that people are looking to you for guidance..you are their comfort zone in times of need, etc. People will always turn to a Police Officer to answer their questions whether it be how do i get to expressway to why did you pull me over, blah blah blah. Remember, you need to put your game face on each time you put your uniform on. Leave your personal problems in the parking lot of the pd...they'll be waiting when you get into your POV.... You have the responsibility as an LEO to make decisions..and one day it could be life or death.... and remember, you need to laugh in this job... laughter is the key to sanity.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PhilipCal
                  As you progress through a law enforcement career, you're going to encounter many situations where you'll have to control your emotions. Domestic calls are just one of them. Domestics can also be among the most dangerous calls you'll roll on. Don't be afraid to listen to the older heads who've been out there for a while. Keep one thing in mind. If you can't control your emotions, you probably can't do your job.
                  Good advice. Like any profession, leave your work at work. If you can seperate your profession from your home life, you'll be happier for it.

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                  • #10
                    There is a reason that departments want officers with a certain level of maturity. Having a good life base helps one have a better control over themselves. Controlling your emotions is vital to your survival as an officer. Not just your physical survival, but your emotional survival.
                    \

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                    • #11
                      [U]Just remember this when you feel your blood boiling, "is this sh*t-bag worth my career?"

                      This should always be in the back of your head with everything you do in law enforcement! No matter what the situation! Also, in my experience, almost every domestic I am sent to...well, are they really legit? Very, very few of my domestics are true battery cases...the ones where a husband or boyfriend truly deserves jail time. (Most of them are crap cases where both people are drunk with no injuries) Also, don't forget that many domestic battery, or domestic dispute calls never go reported to police if the boyfriend or husband is the victim! Most of domestics are women victims...why? Who knows really...but many men do not report being struck by their significant other, even when they are true victims of domestic battery. You will see through experience which calls deserve a little more investigation...also, don't be so quick to believe the woman is a true victim...nor a child for that matter (ever hear "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"?) If mommy lies to police...child can too!! They are always a case by case issue...

                      Also...don't be quick to rush up to a scene...park away from the house and walk up...listen....look....get a feel for it.....stand there a minute (if you can)...you can gather PC for arrest before ever making contact with the people involved.

                      Just some food for thought.

                      PS....great advise by everyone!
                      Last edited by yessemi; 04-13-2007, 10:23 PM.

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                      • #12
                        It's a balancing act, my friend. I have been that woman at the domestics...the one that just got her *ss kicked. I understand the pain, fear, humiliation, etc that those woman are experiencing. I try not to remember it when i respond to a call because it's not healthy...that's not to say that I forget it either. Now, this is my advise, but you can take it or leave it. When I was a victim, I encountered law enforcement twice. The first time the Officer was very helpful. It's not to say that he wore his heart on his sleeve, but he gave me all the necessary information I needed to get out of the situation and his attitude didn't look down on me or seem exasperated. The second time the Officer was a complete jerk. His attitude was (and he said clearly) that I was too stupid to leave and would end up being killed. I look at him from a professional point of view now and I can see his frustration...I can see that I was one of MANY women that he'd probably dealt with that weren't leaving fast enough to suit him. Really, it isn't about YOU as the Police Officer and you need to remember that. It's not about how frustrated you get that she's not leaving. Yes, he probably will hurt her again but which attitude and approach you do you think better empowered a victim of domestic violence to at LEAST reach out again if she needed it. Please. Try to remember not to allow yourself to re-victimize hedr (or him to be fair) all over again. If you've never been in her shoes, you cannot possibily understand the fear.
                        sigpic

                        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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                        • #13
                          It's a horrible cycle, it really is.

                          This is going to sound cynical (maybe it really is)...your feelings will change when the bleeding beat up victim swears "to god I'm done with him!" on a Thursday night.

                          He bonds out sometime on Friday, and guess where you're at Friday night?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smurfette_76
                            It's a balancing act, my friend. I have been that woman at the domestics...the one that just got her *ss kicked. I understand the pain, fear, humiliation, etc that those woman are experiencing. I try not to remember it when i respond to a call because it's not healthy...that's not to say that I forget it either. Now, this is my advise, but you can take it or leave it. When I was a victim, I encountered law enforcement twice. The first time the Officer was very helpful. It's not to say that he wore his heart on his sleeve, but he gave me all the necessary information I needed to get out of the situation and his attitude didn't look down on me or seem exasperated. The second time the Officer was a complete jerk. His attitude was (and he said clearly) that I was too stupid to leave and would end up being killed. I look at him from a professional point of view now and I can see his frustration...I can see that I was one of MANY women that he'd probably dealt with that weren't leaving fast enough to suit him. Really, it isn't about YOU as the Police Officer and you need to remember that. It's not about how frustrated you get that she's not leaving. Yes, he probably will hurt her again but which attitude and approach you do you think better empowered a victim of domestic violence to at LEAST reach out again if she needed it. Please. Try to remember not to allow yourself to re-victimize hedr (or him to be fair) all over again. If you've never been in her shoes, you cannot possibily understand the fear.

                            Wow! Smurfette, you really touched me there. I've got a few women on my beat that I really feel for. I know that sometime every week I'll probably get a call to one of their houses. It really is frustrating. I've seen the domestic violence unfold from the first time to the time he finally killed her. I saw it coming and warned her several times that he would do it if she didn't help herself. One thing that I always do though is make sure that they know they can call anytime. I've even told them that myself or other officers might show up and appear to be frustrated with her, but its just because it hurts us to see her beat up again, and again. I always let the victim know that we will always come, and when they're ready to take a stand we'll be there to help them move out.
                            The views I share are my own, and do not represent the opinions of my employing agency.

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