What  has always amazed me, and what
you will come to learn, is how stupid and
irrational people can be.  Let's get
started on this.  You're on patrol on a
clear summer day, and you receive a call
for a residential burglary in progress.  
The dispatcher tells you the
burglar is
breaking through the back door, and
there's a woman and a small child inside.  
As you turn into the alley, you spot a
guy running out of one of the houses in
the block.  This has got to be your man,
because, when he spots you, he really
takes off.  No lights and siren here.  He
cuts down a narrow alley, and the foot
chase is on.

You're young and in good physical
condition, but the suspect is also young.  
You never lose sight of him as you close
to about 15 to 20 feet behind him.  It
quickly becomes evident to you that this
chase will end when one of you wears
out.  Your suspect is not stupid, for he's
listening to you as you give your
dispatcher, and other police officers who
are searching for you, your location.  
Every time he hears you give a location
and direction, he changes direction.  This
marathon goes on for about six blocks;
until, you chase him into a school yard.  
The school yard thing is no big deal...
remember, it's Summertime, and school
is not in session.  It's just you and him.  
You ran it out of him, and now he's
leaning forward with his palms on his
knees as he gasps for air.
I wasn't about to let this idiot ruin my
day.  As he took his second step, I
holstered my gun while simultaneously
drawing my nightstick from its ring with
my other hand.  I took a batters stance
and said, "Come on."  It turned out he
wasn't a total idiot.  That stick stopped
him cold in his tracks.  He had taken a
calculated risk that I wouldn't shoot him
while correctly calculating that I would put
him down with that stick.  Now, think
about what you would have done if you'd
been in my place.  What if the two of you
weren't pretty evenly matched
physically?  What if the guy was a lot
bigger than you?

This story gets even better.  This guy
didn't actually commit any crime.  Yes, he
did kick in a door, but it was his door
attached to his house.  His wife called the
police, but she neglected to tell the
operator that the
burglar  was her
husband.  You say, "Oh, domestic
violence!"  Not exactly, there was no
assault.  There was an argument,
because she'd locked him out.  When she
told him she'd called the police, he ran
from the house... a real dangerous
husband, this one.  I told you he took a
calculated risk that I wouldn't shoot him,
but, on the other hand, he could have
been saying to himself, "I'll show her... I'll
get this cop to shoot me."
You're not in any better shape, but
you're the cop, so you can't be as
obvious about your discomfort.  His back
is to you as you look him over closely.  
He's wearing a polo shirt and slacks, so
any bulges indicating a concealed weapon
would be evident.  Additionally, while you
were chasing him, his arms were always
swinging.  If he had a gun, one hand
would have been close to his body to
control the weapon.  Back-up police
officers are on the way, so you just want
to get him on the ground until help
arrives.  You pull your service pistol, and
you tell the guy to lie down on the
ground. With his hands still on his knees,
he does a duck walk turn to face you.  
You repeat the order for him to lie down.  
You'd think, as tired as this guy is, he'd
have no problem with lying down.

Instead, he stares at you for a few
seconds, before he stands upright.  He
rolls his head from side to side as he
keeps looking away from you.  You've
got a good look at him now, and you're
certain he has no weapon.  You're also
certain that the guy is becoming
agitated.  Suddenly, he slaps his chest
twice with the palms of his hands and
shouts, "Shoot me... shoot me!  Go
ahead... shoot me!"  Before you can
reply, he starts walking toward you,
slapping his chest and shouting the
"shoot me" thing over and over.  Can
you believe this guy?  What kind of
person would be this irrational?  You'll
learn that a lot of people are this
Shoot Me!
"Shoot me... shoot me!  Go ahead...
shoot me!"  Before you can reply, he
starts walking toward you, slapping
his chest and shouting the "shoot
me" thing over and over."
~ Barry M. Baker

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Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
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