Hello,

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

Dave Young just forwarded me this photo that appeared in an article about an officer that was captured pointing his finger at a reporter who captured the hand gesture on video phone.   It has raise a great deal of controversy.  In our training, we make a great deal of the fact that an officer should always consider him/herself to be on camera.  What an officer says or in this case does can be captured in a video or photo and posted to the Internet.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/kalamazoo/chief-kalamazoo-officer-not-a-threat-with-hand-gesture/284556186

What is important to note here is how the image is viewed is impacted by the “atmosphere” that existed for the person viewing the image. The atmosphere can be either defensive or supportive.   If the viewer sees the officer in a positive light, the image may be viewed in a positive light while the same image may be viewed negatively if the person viewing the image looks at the officer in a negative way.   Two people can see the same image very differently based on how they view the officer.   While the officer interaction with a person can change a defensive atmosphere into a supportive one, a person perspective may not change – no matter what the officer does.   This is why “Precision of Word Choice” or in this case”Precision of Hand Gesture” is so important.   There are some things that we should not be doing in the public eye.   Pointing your finger at someone in a way that could be perceived as a gun is one of them.    Remember that we are not only talking about the person who we are gesturing at but anyone who could see you actions or an image of your action.

We may not know why the officer did what he did but do know the consequences of his action.   Let’s learn from this incident.   Hand gestures like this one can get you in a lot of trouble.  We need to be more careful in what we say and do.

Dave thanks for sending me this link to review.   I would like to request that our readers send me additional links to review.   These reviews could be both helpful and pain-saving.