Tip: Trust your instincts when dealing with suspects

Dave Smith
“JD Buck Savage”

When something just doesn’t feel right — when it just doesn’t smell like it should — it’s time to heighten your awareness and start attending to those important officer safety points like maintaining distance, awareness of the hands, subject movement, deception, and the like.

A recent study of human sweat showed that humans are able to perceive fear in the sweat of others. While this has long been assumed, we now have hard evidence of the true power of one of the senses we tend to minimize in training and on the street.

Most people transmitting fear or deception indicators are simply upset with having contact with the police, however, there is always the simple truth that you may have a truly bad actor and you need to attend to all the signals being sensed. Cops that do this we tend to call “lucky” since they are always digging up stuff for the rest of us to do like transport their prisoners or inventory their seizures.

A lot of our perceptions occur at the subconscious level and are hard to bring up to our consciousness. In other words, the cause of this uneasiness or “hinkiness” is hard to explain, even to ourselves. Smell is not a dominant sense but a very potent one, so trust your intuition and gut feelings.

Get backup if appropriate, delve deeper, and make sure you cover your rear!


About the Author:

As a police officer, Dave Smith has held positions in patrol, training, narcotics, SWAT, and management. Dave continues to develop new and innovative programs across the spectrum of police training needs designed to assist your agency and your personnel in meeting the challenges of policing in the new millennium. As a trainer, speaker, and consultant Dave brings with him unparalleled access to modern law enforcement trends.

Dave is now the owner of “The Winning Mind LLC,”  the Director of Video Training for PoliceOne Video and author of the new book “In My Sights.” His experiences as officer, trainer, manager, and police spouse lend a unique perspective to his signature class, “The Winning Mind.”  Visit Dave’s website at www.jdbucksavage.com.

Contact Dave Smith and Follow Dave on Twitter


Article originally posted on PoliceOne, republished with permission from Dave Smith & Associates.

Tip: Trust your instincts when dealing with suspects