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  • Hands in pockets

    Why is it that the general public will always approach a police officer with their hands in their pockets? Happens all the time....disabled vehicle, I just stop to help/check things out. Man sticks his hands in his jacket as I approach. Of course this makes me uneasy and I tell him to remove hands. He acts offended and goes to full "hands up" mode. I tell him that is not necessary etc. What is up with people? There are all kinds of "cops" shows on all the time. Common sense should dictate that you do not want to make armed officers nervous.Maybe because I am ex-military and hands in pockets were prohibited, I don't get it. To me it is the same as if I unsnapped my holster as I approached you...would make you uncomfortable right? I'm sure everyone here has more sense but the public at large needs to be informed.

  • #2
    I'm with you on that one Mack. For me, I get nervous when I see someone putting their hand behind their back. Bells start going off in my head.

    I guess it's a good thing though. I see some officers that could care less when a suspect is doing with their hands. At least I'm cautious with dealing with all people.
    Attitude is a reflection of leadership.

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    • #3
      I agree.

      IMHO, it's an involuntary "coping" mechanism, and is even used in detecting deceptive behavior in interviews.

      I think it is a subconcious habit when you are uncomfortable. I'm not implying that everyone we deal with is deceptive, but they are often uncomfortable around police officers. It is the "uncomfortable" part that we look for in interviews, but in the interview, the "norm" should already be "set," so it is more likely IN THAT SETTING to be indicative of deceptive behavior.

      With Joe Sixpack on the street, it may just be indicative of their being uncomfortable.

      I see it all the time in court-everyone who stands before the judge (an authority figure with great power) wants to do it and either the judge, bailiff, or one state trooper that I'm often there with will tell them "Get your hands out of your pockets!"

      Of course, it also may be indicative of a container of crack and a 9mm in their pocket, and their knowledge of the indicment out for them for trafficing.

      Just don't want anyone to think ole SGT Dave will try to "think" an issue to death!

      [ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: SGT Dave ]
      People have more fun than anybody.

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      • #4
        What's even worse is when you ask them to take their hands out of their pockets then a minute later, where are there hands? Back in their pockets
        No, you've got the wrong number. This is 9-1....2.
        - Police Chief Clancy Wiggum

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        • #5
          I have a friend ho is a retired police officer. He suffered severe post traumatic stress when a he could not save a friend from a burning car while on duty.
          He says he fights the "fight and flight" effect constantly. When he goes into any building, he immediately scans out the exits. Then, he scans the people in the room. And he says anyone with hands in their pockets seriously concern him. He said he knows that's silly now because he is retired from the police force so of course people are going to have their hands in their pockets anywhere he goes.
          But, he says it really does bother him if someone walks toward him with their hands in their pockets.

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          • #6
            "Common sense should dictate that you do not want to make armed officers nervous."

            The problem is lack of COMMON SENSE !

            Not such a common thing anymore.
            "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

            Norman Thomas

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            • #7
              I agree with the above statement....

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              • #8
                It's hands that hold weapons; guilty hands will tremble. Angry hands are balled up; in some cultures angry hands will have the index finger pointed straight out with the rest of the hand balled up into a fist.

                A liars hands will make soothing motions across the stomach, or cover the mouth while speaking

                So a person who knows the police would be interested in him, keeps his hands out of view.

                Jim Burnes

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jwelch:
                  I agree with the above statement....
                  Long time, no post, jwelch.

                  Good to see you around
                  ========================================

                  Around here, most folks seem to keep their thumbs hooked in their pockets, unless it's cold outside.

                  What's fun is watching our inmates trying to put the hands in their pants pockets (that don't exist).
                  Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

                  Jack

                  [email protected]

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                  • #10
                    Posted by JKT:

                    Around here, most folks seem to keep their thumbs hooked in their pockets
                    Good God, JKT! That's half the moves to line dancing! Do you people not have no control down there?
                    People have more fun than anybody.

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                    • #11
                      I was far more inclined to tell them to LEAVE YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKET AND TURN AROUND, giving me the chance to get close enough to them, to "assist" them, in removing the hand from the pocket. Then going ahead and finding out what was in there for "officer safety" reasons.

                      Got several good busts that way that stood up in court. Of course I also pizzed off some perfectly innocent, (but stupid,) citizens that way. I really didn't care. I worked alone, and if I didn't cover my own ***, nobody else was going to. . .

                      [ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Don ]
                      6P1 (retired)

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