You hear a lot about the "fight or flight" response when it comes to approaching conflict, but often the best response is simply to stay calm and confident. If you don't know what you're doing, though, that calmness can look like hesitation.
It's crucial to distinguish between staying under control and simply doing nothing, and getting at that difference also shows why off-duty police officers are the better choice for handling high-pressure situations. Police are trained to mitigate danger without the use of force, only resorting to it only if they have to, and they have other skills, training and experience to help them succeed.
When tensions are already running high, usually the last thing you want to do is make things worse. Using a loud, frantic voice, making threats and acting erratically can all communicate a change in attitude. And anyone who's been in a tough situation can tell you that panic can be contagious.
That's one of the best reasons for off-duty police officers to stay calm and controlled. If emotions run high, the nervous energy could spread to anyone, from civilians to other law enforcement or security officials, making things even more chaotic.
At the same time, though, this is very different from simply doing nothing. An average security guard often "observes" situations without interfering, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he or she will make the prevailing attitude or situation any better, especially if there are already high tensions present. With the authority to set a good example, talk to people and take action, a police officer can be more assured on the job, with the power to directly intervene but the discipline to do so only if necessary.
Staying "present" works
You might see many different theories about how to act under pressure. In a Harvard Business Review article from 2015, Diane Musho Hamilton outlined the steps of reducing stress through simple, focused techniques, such as breathing with intent and staying aware of the present. Viewed through this lens, the best way to fight high nerves is to avoid thinking too much about the future and concentrate on what you can do now.
Someone who isn't as familiar with this might simply think that calming down is about feeling more relaxed. That's not entirely true, at least not from this standpoint, since the goal is to still be engaged with your environment, just not too highly strung. A police officer can simply "observe" if that's needed to keep the peace, but has the added skills to know when to engage and when not to.
Police officer judgment
What it all comes down to is the fundamental authority behind a police officer's actions. An off-duty police officer can be confident, observant and level-headed because the option to intervene is still there. This requires responsibility, and the best officers will have experience and a good record to vouch for their abilities in the field.
Let Frizell Group manage these officers for you and help facilitate the process of scheduling them for your security needs. We will make the process easier for you, plus provide liability protection in the form of risk mitigation.