Ralph Mroz just advised us on how not to get shot by the po-po by referring us to his article in Police and Security News, Dealing With On-Duty Responders (page 66). This reinforces advice I've gotten from other trainers. Ralph suggests we make the following statements loudly, to communicate with witnesses and bystanders.
Stay away from him! He may still be armed!
One variant I've heard of this which appeals to me a little more and is advocated by InSights Training, follows.
Police! Call the police!
Stay away from him! He's still dangerous!
Look around. Did he hurt anyone else?
This addition becomes more important if there was gunfire involved. Bad guys don't care what's behind and beyond their target. Even though you do, there's also a possibility of unacceptable hits. Regardless of the cause, you can't direct treatment of casualties you don't know about.
This has several effects:
- enlists witnesses or bystanders to start helping out
- provides evidence to bystanders that you're the good guy
- clearly points out the bad guy, and encourages curious people to stay away from him
- begins to establish you as in control of the scene
Continuing to communicate in this way with bystanders may be important, because your crisis may occur in an area (e.g., on the sidewalk) where limiting access to curious (read: foolish) passers-by is difficult or impossible. As Paul Howe puts it, "Gunfire draws people in and drives people away." The group you're communicating to in just a couple minutes may not be those who were actual eye- and ear-witnesses to the crisis itself.
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