There is actually a purpose to this blog

Scott Adams - the writer of the 'Dilbert' comic strip - once described a Mission Statement as 'a long, complicated paragraph demonstrating management's inability to think clearly.' Therefore, I'll not call this a mission statement.

This blog is dedicated to informing civilian Park Rangers about topics routine taught to police officers but almost unknown to most of us who wear a uniform, work alone, and confront potentially dangerous on a frequent basis.

This blog is intended to offer suggestions based on my experience, and on my understanding of Maryland Law. It may be different where you are.

That's my mission.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The 'No Look Rule'

You are sitting at a stop light when a police car pulls up along side you. What do you do?

You will almost certainly look, nod, perhaps wave. Unless you are up to something, in which case, you will probably take an immediate and consuming interest in the car ahead of you, or something several blocks down the road.

This is called the 'No Look Rule.' It's taught to police officers all the time, and it is a valid technique that can be useful in building Probable Cause. Note: Not looking at you isn't probable cause in its own right, but can be considered as part of it.

Probable Cause is like weighing grains of information on a scale. One grain isn't PC, and two may not be, either. But as you pile grains up, eventually the scale will tip.

As an illustration, you ride by a campsite and nobody looks at you. Odd, perhaps, but not unheard of. You file it away in your mind, perhaps add to it when you make other observations involving that group of campers later in the evening. It may still be nothing, but it might. It might be enough to cause you to look at the reservation system records for previous problems with those campers. It might be enough to cause you to be extra careful in your dealings with them .

It might be enough to keep you from getting hurt.

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