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Communication skills make good, bad impression

Communication comes in many forms. I’d like to look through a scope into language. In the policing business, proper language can be a liberating fact. Conversely, poor language could be intellectually condemning.

By no means am I a scholarly expert in language. I’m a street cop whose heard a whole bunch of stuff over the years. In the grand scheme, language has three parts. Each of these can provide succinct understanding or a foolish nonsensical explanation.

We have the cognitive aspect, a thought. Second, the formulation of saying what we want to say or encoding. Lastly, the digesting of what we’ve heard, read and seen. This decoding of communication completes the process. You see, as police officers we must try to dissect each of these during our investigations.

This is where the liberal arts of language can be a morsel or an absolute indication of whom we’re dealing with. If criminals choose to behave and dress like clowns, speak like an ignoramus and deduce like a burro, why are they so demanding of an intellectual explanation as to their admission into the concertina wire, windowless country club reformatory. What I like to tell these folks is, if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

Communication is part of who you are, so make a good impression when you speak with others.

Let’s rock and roll or tango. “Control, 269 I’ll be 10-8 in-service with the crew.”

March 9. It’s midnight and the speeding car enters our town. Lights, camera and pull over. The out-of-state occupants are a bit too nervous. This nervousness was confirmed by our drug K-9 pooch. Cocaine has a distinctive smell, especially when you have a 100 times the scent power. The couple of occupants don’t pass go; they went straight to jail. Sorry Arizona, we saw them first.

March 10. We are summoned to the homes behind 7-Eleven on Nevada Way. The caller reports his neighbor is yelling. Apparently the yelling is being fueled by an accelerant, alcohol. Officers arrive and determine everyone involved in the loud whimpering is under the influence of firewater. The gentrified gentlemen decide going into their homes is more comfortable than spending a couple of days in our luxurious accommodations.

March 11. An officer on patrol spots a car parked on the street. The problem is the driveshaft is hanging off the car and fluids are leaking. The officer makes contact with the owner, who is fixing the car. We understand the need to fix cars, but Boulder City has an ordinance prohibiting these types of repairs on the roadway. The officer issues a citation. Help keep Boulder City clean and green; remember the broken window theory.

March 12. A driver gets called in as a DUI. Officers spot the vehicle and try to pull it over on Nevada Highway and Yucca Street. The driver stops in the middle of the road, but then flees up Yucca. The driver must have had a childhood fantasy that his vehicle was a train, so he turns on the train tracks. As the rubber wheels choo-choo the tracks, they pop like popcorn. The vehicle crashes into one police car then tries to escape again, but is successfully pinned by another police car. The fleeing felon is apprehended without further incident.

March 13. It’s 2 a.m., not a creature was stirring, except the 80-miles-per-hour truck swerving all over the road. The driver is stopped and does the hokey pokey, not the standardized field sobriety test. Being more than three times the legal limit, behind the wheel is a tragedy waiting to happen. Thank goodness our bars serve only soberness.

March 14. A victim comes to the police department and tells an officer the ex violated the temporary protection order. The officer determines the unlawful contact by the adverse party, by leaving supplies on the doorstep of the victim’s home, violates the order. The subject is picked up at work by two of our officers. Lesson learned; do not violate a judge’s order.

In closing, I’d like to thank all of you out there who practice good, positive communication. If we talk, act and live as rational individuals, then we secure a favorable future. The alternative — not worth discussing. Good day, Boulder City.

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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