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  • If you can't bite, don't bark

    I just re-learned a very important lesson just an hour ago (I am posting this from site).

    [story about dealing with a harassing subject offsite]

    Whew. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that. I made the wisest choice by backing down, and everyone will be going home (his home most likely being a crackhouse, or the backseat of a car) with no lasting repercussions. And I was able to stay awake for the rest of my shift without caffeine.
    Last edited by Just_Some_Guy; 01-06-2008, 06:08 AM. Reason: Story was removed on the advice of supervisors/management

  • #2
    You did the right thing. Getting involved in something off site like that could have gotten you really screwed. The only thing bruised in this looks to be your pride.

    I have done this same thing before in my younger days. However, nobody called my bluff. When you are somewhere you aren't supposed to be and doing something you aren't supposed to be doing, it puts you at a disadvantage.
    Last edited by CorpSec; 12-29-2007, 03:49 PM.

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    • #3
      Glade it worked out safely for you. Up here in the frozen white north we are not even allowed to carry OC.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CorpSec View Post
        I have done this same thing before in my younger days. However, nobody called my bluff.
        Yeah, no one has ever called my bluff until today, and I'm glad it happened, it was a refreshing wakeup call. I never worry about that happening onsite, and if it does, it certainly doesn't continue when I come back with 2 or more burly police officers who usually give me a nod, wink, and nudge to reapproach the suspect and proceed at handling it, with them standing 2 feet behind me with their arms crossed and a "We-are-backing-this-security-officer.-Cooperate-or-we-will-have-to-deal-with-you." look on their face.

        Sidenote: There have been one or two incidents where with even with PD backing me, the offending party will simply not cooperate. In these cases, PD takes over and there is a very quick, very large, and very effective response from 6-12 officers who will bring the situation under control (and of course, word spreads quickly and people start associating 'not cooperating with security = a dozen police officers breaking down your door'). I'm not really sure why they insist on letting me deal with these incidents, I guess this way they don't have as much paperwork to do. It may help me be more effective, but I don't like having that reputation as even the good guys get scared and avoid me entirely. Most are immigrants from countries where law enforcement is very oppressive, so they continue that train of thought here.

        In any case, tonight's slap in the face was a reminder that PD will not always be there and that I am simply a rent-a-cop in the middle of the hood, and I should watch my step before I step on the wrong toes.
        Last edited by Just_Some_Guy; 12-29-2007, 06:51 AM.

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        • #5
          I am glad that you learned the lesson without injury to you or anyone else. Unless there is violence, I just do not interfere at all. If the clerk wants LE, I will notify the Operations center for them. Generally speaking, I mind my business.

          Be Safe,

          Hank
          " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

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          • #6
            Yep, its no fooling around in a uniform that resembles LE. Even if they look like a pushover, you know they are either crazy and/or have an unfair advantage to even speak up like that. There's always more lurking behind you in the dark, often.

            Nothing is worth your life. Nothing: which is exactly what you were receiving for your diligent actions that were not even likely appreciated.

            SO is just a low wage paying job in constant demand, and if you forget that for one moment, that may be your last. NEVER forget what COVER means, and always be near if possible in situations even close to that one.

            Personally, I'm in and out of 7-11's like the wind, and rarely in uniform.

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            • #7
              That's one of the nicer things about being an armed guard... it';s bad enough looking like a LEO... but at least having the means to defend yourself is nice.

              I would have done them a favor and called the police, with an accurate description of the criminal, but you aint paid there don't do nothing there...

              If you're paying me i'll do what i'm employed to do... and might even go above and beyond if it's in my personal ethics to do so in that situation... but if I ain't being paid.. I'll help but I'm not risking my neck.

              I don't even stop for a car on the side of the road in my POV unless I'm armed...
              Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

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              • #8
                I think a lesson learnt is names cannot kill you - but people can. Same as working doors - if you let it get to you, perhaps you should consider being a cake decorator in your career choice.
                "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
                  I think a lesson learnt is names cannot kill you - but people can. Same as working doors - if you let it get to you, perhaps you should consider being a cake decorator in your career choice.

                  I was thinking a florist or flower arranger might be preferable
                  "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

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                  • #10
                    Even as a police officer you are taught to stay out of the police activities when off duty.

                    Basically, you are told to be a good witness if you see something happening, sounds funny, but you should observe and report. Sound familiar?

                    If you see someone about to get killed, or seriously hurt, and you have the ability, and desire to get involved, you can get involved, but that does not mean you cannot get into some trouble if it does not go as you hoped it would.

                    Additionally, if you are not in your city, or where the responding police know who you are upon their arrival, you may well be treated as a dangerous subject with a gun (if you have one with you) until the arriving police know better.

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                    • #11
                      Ha Ha Ha Maelstrom - When I was studying at uni I was in my first accounting class and the teacher used to say - "if you can't get it now, you should be down the corridor at the Cake Decorating Class". I still laugh at this stuff almost 20 years later.

                      Working the buses 1 late Xmas night, some boys busking were attacked on the bus by an adult male whom I pulled off the bus when the kids refused to lay charges. I agreed to let him get on the next bus in 10 minutes as my partner (A.J.) who was dark skinned informed the adult the next bus would be express. As I cleared another bus to leave, I turned to see A.J. punch the male passenger in the mouth and the passenger go flying under a bus wheel. It all came around when AJ was called a Black &*(@ by the male passenger and 20 witnesses said AJ hit him first. I spent another 7 hours in the copshop and then had a 2 hour debrief from the company director. AJ was charged but flew out of the country before it went to court.
                      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                      • #12
                        I disliked entering gas stations unarmed. Thankfully, I was armed when in a company vehicle. If the minimart wants security, they can pay for it. I don't give free services.

                        The standard rules of starting a fight apply here, as well. There is always someone bigger.
                        Some Kind of Commando Leader

                        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Just_Some_Guy View Post
                          I just re-learned a very important lesson just an hour ago (I am posting this from site).

                          As some of you know, I vehicle patrol a neighborhood on the very bad side of town. As with every night, I went off site to visit the local 24hour gas station/minimart to get my caffeine fix as my eyes was starting to droop. While I was inside going through the aisles, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a shady looking gentleman (3 inches shorter than me, light non-muscular build, very possibly a drug abuser) walk in and make his way to the back of the store where all the drink coolers are. I kept noticing him looking at the front of the store where the clerks should've been - one was crouched under the counter stocking cigarettes, and the other was stocking in the back room, so no one could see him. I brought my purchases upto the counter, and behind me I heard the distinct sound of a cooler door opening and closing. I thought nothing of it and proceeded to continue my transaction. As I was being checked out, I saw the guy slowly make his way to the door. When he swung it open, I yelled out "Hey, you forgot to pay for that!"

                          The gentleman was very calm (high, rather) and calmly replied with some colorful language while declaring his innocence, and walked out the door. Whatever, not my problem. The clerk didn't seem to care about it too much either - he said they usually don't bother to call PD on shoplifters because response time can be lengthy.

                          I completed my purchase and went outside to my vehicle and noticed the guy walking away. He noticed me and yelled out "f-in fatboy" several times as he walked (I'm an "average American" and was wearing level 2 kevlar with trauma plate). It was at this point where things went wrong, and I yelled back to him "What did you f-in say m-fer? Come here and say that to my face!" Completely out of character for me - I deal with gang bangers, drug dealers, and wife beaters on my site frequently, and I am always professional (well, professional enough) with them, and they respect me back. If they're absolute dicks that can't be talked to (very rare), I'm one right back to them and they always walk away/back off. (I believe they are scared of being evicted out of their apartment and/or being locked up after having the crap kicked out of them by the graveyard shift police officers, who are very well-adjusted to "working" with jerks in this area of the city. Asserting my dominance is the only way I can these these select few to disengage or comply, sadly.)

                          He turned right around and very calmly walked towards me. My mind was elsewhere, and I didn't think to do/say anything until he stopped 4 feet in front of me, with his hands in his baggy pockets. This is when time slowed down, as I stared at his right hand shoved in his pocket. My impact weapon was in my car, my firearm was locked in my P.O.V. a mile away (the client doesn't permit weapons onsite) along with my personal x26 taser (non-issued and never carried on duty), and my radio was non-existant (we're all on Nextels). The clerks were too busy stocking to notice this exchange happening outside, so I could not expect PD to respond until it was all over. Suddenly, my kevlar vest and can of O.C. didn't seem adequate enough.

                          "You just a fatboy, patrollin [name of minimart]."

                          My voice cracked slightly, betraying my nervousness as I replied, "I don't patrol this store. I was just tryin to help these guys out." I meekly stared him down. It was no use, he knew I was scared.

                          He sneered to assert his dominance before walking away into the shadows.

                          I got back into my car and returned to site, all the while mentally freaking out with thousands of what-ifs:

                          What if it had gotten physical? I could be seen as the aggressor as I called him back when he was walking away, and I'd have a hell of a time explaining this to PD (maybe not so much, I have a very close relationship with the local officers who knows what I have to deal with daily, and are always very happy to back me up when a strong show of force is needed), investigators from the department of licensing (who controls our guard cards), and my own supervisors.

                          What if I had my firearm or other weapons? Would I still have backed down, or would it have escalated to the point where he would draw a weapon or attack and I'd use mine to defend myself? A guy like him has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, and only cares about defending their manhood. If I used my firearm, how would I explain why I was carrying it to my management when I was supposed to be working an unarmed site? And what if I did and he died - how could I deal with the fact that this all started over a stolen bottle of coke that shouldn't have been my business to begin with?

                          Whew. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that. I made the wisest choice by backing down, and everyone will be going home (his home most likely being a crackhouse, or the backseat of a car) with no lasting repercussions. And I was able to stay awake for the rest of my shift without caffeine.

                          Edit: Just noticed the dozens of grammatical errors made in this post. Please try to ignore them - I was too tired to write properly and too lazy now to correct.
                          I gotta ask: There is a client who is paying you to wear that uniform and
                          exert clearly defined authority (as his proxy) on his property; how does your interaction with the hood in minimart (and any possible consequences of that interaction) serve that client?

                          The way I see it, when I am on duty, the world outside my clients property turns on wheels that are all its own, and that needs no interference by me. It is the world of the criminals, the police, and people generally looking after them selves.

                          The only way I ever get involved in anything off the clients property (while on duty) is if that anything is directly connected to my client. And then even only in a limited area.

                          I drive across three counties in the course of my duties every shift and anytime I am out of the truck and in public, I do my best to conceal or at least play down the uniform. I have nothing to do with those public spaces while on duty, just getting my lunch/drink/bathroom trip/gas, and then gone.

                          In the situation you were in I would have told the clerk simply that the man was shoplifting and then left it up to them to act (or not) in their own employers interests.
                          formerly C&A

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                          • #14
                            I had a similar incident once that turned out pretty nasty. Turned out to be myself and a piece of metal rebar against a guy and his butterfly knife on a remote construction yard. Not a particularly pleasing situation that could have turned out worse if I responded differently.

                            Good on you for knowing what to do, and when to do it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Just_Some_Guy View Post
                              What if it had gotten physical? I could be seen as the aggressor as I called him back when he was walking away [. . .]
                              I think you've pretty much reasoned through the entire situation and answered your own questions.

                              Obviously the guy you dealt with was an idiot and nobody blames you for getting irritated, but some food for thought: Aren't you in Washington State? What you did is technically considered disorderly conduct, and many cities in Washington have city codes pertaining to "provoking assault" which include words or actions that provoke another party to fight. That may have been the least trouble you could've gotten into if it had become physical.
                              Last edited by LPGuy; 01-04-2008, 04:39 AM.

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