LESSON 3/TASK 1
of each other. If it is necessary to move the disputants to different rooms, avoid the kitchen and
Your first step on arrival should be to observe and neutralize possible threats to your safety. Remove
obvious weapons such as guns and knives. You should also be concerned about such items as
ashtrays, folding chairs, scissors, kitchen utensils, and boiling water. Position yourself away from
windows and staircases. Do not turn your back on any of the disputants. Know where your partner is.
Unless you must physically restrain a person, try to avoid crowding, threatening, or otherwise touching
what may be an already hostile person. It may provoke him to a greater degree of hostility. Your intent
is to calm and gain control of the situation.
Create a first impression of nonhostile authority. Keep in mind, however, that you may be threatened
with danger at any time during the call. Your behavior will have a great deal to do with the reaction of
the individuals involved.
Once the immediate danger has been removed, MP suggest that everyone sit down. Persons involved
in domestic disputes may be hostile, abusive, and uncooperative. You should expect that some of the
hostility will be directed toward the MP. The MP are often viewed as intruders in a private matter.
Attitudes of the disputants will usually be directly and immediately affected by the attitude projected by
The attitude of the MP is important. The initial impression will determine the degree of cooperation.
Unintended meanings and attitudes will be read into the words, facial expressions, and body positions
of the MP by the disputants. The MP must display a calm, positive, and helpful manner. A sensitive
and tactful approach can do much to create a positive environment in which the dispute can be
After gaining control of the situation and calming the disputants, the MP can begin to interview the
Observing conditions inside the dwelling while obtaining information may give you ideas of the
contributing causes of the dispute. Be alert for sudden movements. Watch to see if the disputants
continually glance at closets or bureaus. Such actions may be the first indication that an individual has
a weapon available. The MP should also observe: