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Old January 27, 2019, 02:48 PM   #26
FireForged
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I pay attention but will not assign any particular defcon, color code or any of that jazz. Color codes, decision trees, conditions levels, fancy acronyms and mantras are great for the classroom where you are trying to convey a concept as well as construction. Outside the classroom, I simply pay attention... that's what I call it. Paying attention can certainly encompass many things.

As a citizen, I do not door watch and am not one of "those guys" who make a dramatic production about the tactical consideration of every aspect of life. Yes, I pay attention but where I sit in a restaurant is going to depend on where I expect to receive the most enjoyment. I will sit away from the crowd and try to avoid sitting near the kitchen or restroom. I don't give a flip about the door or who might come through it. Should something get my attention, I will assess it and either dismiss it, address it or avoid it. I do the same thing in theaters or anywhere else the people gather... I go where I expect to receive the most enjoyment. Altering where I sit based on a what a crazed gunman might do is just silly in my estimation.

As a joe citizen going about my day-to-day.. I just pay attention. If I happen to be with others, a make an effort to be present in the moment, not narrowly focused on the boogeyman. I know guys like that.. the "I wont sit here or sit there or.. I wont sit with my back to this or back to that". The guys who try to memorize what everyone is wearing or how many paces it is to the front door. The drama of it makes me chuckle and I don't know what is worse, the fact that they are doing that or the fact that they will proclaim it like a badge of honor. I Don't hang out with those guys, at least not more than once.
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Old January 27, 2019, 03:07 PM   #27
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The idea of detecting danger is one that's seen some serious study and development in police work over the last couple of decades. Retired police chief Steven Rhoads (now Dr Steven Rhoads, PhD) has been teaching LE classes on "Detecting Danger" via verbal and non-verbal clues for quite a while.

I had the opportunity to attend one of his 1 day (8hr) classes when I still had a badge. It could easily be "unpacked" a bit and made into a 2 day format, but agencies tend to become frugal when it comes to seeing how many training hours are being required for any class.

Gaining benefit from this type of specialized training is a lot easier to grasp and utilize if the student already has experience and a solid foundation in interactions with potentially violent people and the dynamics of such events, as well as how to handle them. Non-LE folks have the "advantage" of being able to avoid and/or withdraw from such developing situations, and not acting in a role involving intervening in them in the interest of general public safety in the first place. (This is a handy thing to be able to appreciate in retirement.)

I suspect that some folks within the general non-LE public might benefit from this sort of knowledge in an unexpected way, meaning learning about themselves and how their body language, postures and words might give off cues that might needlessly escalate some situations with others, in ways of which they may be unaware.
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Old January 27, 2019, 03:09 PM   #28
JohnKSa
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My general philosophy of situational awareness is to:

1. Pay attention to what's going on. You've spent a lifetime looking at "normal" and when something isn't normal, you will notice it if you are just paying attention. I don't mean constantly scanning your environment, I just mean not zoning out or focusing on something else to the point that you are unaware of your surroundings. Understanding the avoidance cues at the conscious level will help you make sense of why you are feeling uncomfortable about something in your surroundings so you can take action as appropriate.

2. You don't need to EXPECT bad things to happen, just keep your mind open to the possibility that bad things COULD happen. Most people expect NOTHING to happen and when something does happen, they waste time convincing themselves that something bad is really happening. You can see these people being interviewed on the news talking about how they never expected it would happen to them and they couldn't believe it was happening to them even when it did. Don't be that person.
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Old January 27, 2019, 04:31 PM   #29
briandg
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This entire thing can also be compared to driving. pay attention, see who is behind you or in your blind spot, watch for stupid, impaired, or angry drivers. just observe, your brain is MARVELOUS. it thinks better than you do. it may pick up cues, you will call them intuitions. unless you are really in a battlezone, just observe, discreetly. keep the eyes roving without making eye contact, pretend that you are looking at the price of charmin.

Keep a quiet, gray, neutral expression as you scan. Don't draw attention.

We live in a city full of weirdos. When I see a really off the hinges guy who has implanted goat horns into his head, I tell my wife to look at something nearby and let her see it without looking straight at him. It took years of saying "oh for the love of god, look near him, not straight at him!"

Regarding the magnificent powers of the brain. I've always been forgetful. Memory has been kind of bad. However, if I find something that I need to know, such as a name, I dismiss it from my mind. (Hey, who was that blond that I dated who drove the blue mustang?)It may take an hour or two, but later, it will just explode into my thoughts. Interestingly, I can tell in advance if it is actually there to remember, and either i know that I will catch up with it sooner or later, or I know that I will never retrieve it.

Your subconscious mind is a miracle.
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Old January 29, 2019, 06:52 AM   #30
ManyMag
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Learn from the predators.
Cats, canines, coons and hogs all have very different ways of taking prey.
Asphalt monkeys differ in some ways though. You can't tell by their appearance what their technique will be.
Best to study predators in order to better your own defense system.
With predators it's all about eye contact and/or the lack thereof.
In the end you are either predator or prey. The is no middle ground.
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Old January 29, 2019, 07:20 AM   #31
Lohman446
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Quote:
In the end you are either predator or prey. The is no middle ground.
The elephant is not a predator and has no natural predators outside of man.
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Old January 29, 2019, 09:53 AM   #32
FireForged
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Quote:
In the end you are either predator or prey. The is no middle ground.
that sounds nifty and all ..but I don't think its a fair statement
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Old January 29, 2019, 09:54 AM   #33
Glenn E. Meyer
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Predators go after baby elephants.
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Old January 29, 2019, 10:11 AM   #34
Lohman446
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Quote:
Predators go after baby elephants.
Fair enough. There are, however, animals that exist without being either predator or prey such as adult elephants.
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Old January 29, 2019, 10:29 AM   #35
RaySendero
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Here's my take:

1. Be prepared
2. Be aware
3. Get/have a plan (avoid, escape, defend or confront)
4. Don't hesitate when you need to react.
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Old January 30, 2019, 10:30 AM   #36
shurshot
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My advice to people, whether they are family, friends, fresh out of the Academy LEO's, or individuals struggling with day to day life is the same; Avoid "STUPID". Avoid stupid people, stupid places, stupid times, stupid things, and stupid ideas and you will find that life is far easier and much more rewarding. We all have choices in life and must be prepared for any and all potential
consequences as a result of our choices. Just avoid "stupid".
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Old January 30, 2019, 10:44 AM   #37
ManyMag
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I hear avoid, avoid, avoid and avoid.
That may work for some but not for all.
I live within a couple of hours of mexico on a major corridor.
In my world AVOID means DON'T go to the grocery store, don't go to the bank, don't go to the pharmacy, don't buy gas.....and on and on.
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Old January 30, 2019, 11:12 AM   #38
briandg
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Why not? it seemed to work for ted kaczynski.
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Old January 30, 2019, 12:38 PM   #39
shurshot
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Manymag;
You have free will pertaining to where you decide to live, correct? You are there by choice. I know, career, family, etc., but ultimately you CHOSE to live where you do, as we all do. Right?
So I ask; Do you make the choice to hang out in bars in Juarez late at night? Do you go to ATM's in bad areas at 1:00am to draw out cash? Do you drive around with your doors unlocked? Do you wear expensive jewelry and flash your cash around when shopping on the street? Do you hang out with people of questionable character??
My guess is you answered "no", to all of those questions and for good reason. You "avoid" stupid. At least I hope so.
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Old January 30, 2019, 12:44 PM   #40
Glenn E. Meyer
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Nothing more useful to be said. The post was to give people info. Do what you want with it as it interacts with your skills and ability.

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