View Full Version : "Reading" people

07-21-2009, 9:16 AM
At one point in your career as a LEO did you become able to "read" people?

Has your "people reading" ability ever let you down (i.e., made your complacent)?

If it did, how long did it take you to treat every new encounter as a new encounter again?

The other day I was reading an FBI paper about LEOs being shot and/or assaulted, and one of the points the writers/psychologists brought up was that a LEO being able to read people sometimes led him into complacency. Because a LEO would let his previous experiences dictate how a suspect would react, and sometimes a suspect would act out of his normal expectation and do the unthinkable.

07-21-2009, 9:28 AM
Reading people doesn't make an officer complacent. Complacency is a choice made by the officer. Thus why folks sometimes think an officer rude because that honest person knows that they are not the bad guy/girl, but the officer doesn't know that. The officer does not have that luxury, much of which is depending upon the situation for the contact.

Even in bigger jurisdictions, the "clientele" doesn't always change and you deal with the same knuckledraggers on a regular basis. Many times I've seen folks that decided that on this night, they didn't want to go to jail and the fight was on with someone you've arrested numerous times without incident and basically, cooperation from the suspect.

07-21-2009, 9:34 AM
Complacency is a learned trait and it is an evil that gets many LEOs killed every year. How do you combat it?...Don't allow yourself to let your guard down.