“He’s mad; he’s got the gun,” she whispered. “I don’t want anybody here.” The mixed messages to a 911 operator hailed from the wife of Ohio state Sen. Kris Jordan [via dispatchpolitics.com]. She was having a bit or what the Brits call “argy-bargy” with her better half. Or his better half. In any case, a politician who can’t smooth over a domestic disturbance would never have become a politician in the first place. “I love my husband,” Mr. J said after a symbolic good night’s sleep. “We had a disagreement. We have talked through it, and we’re both committed to each other, and we’re working on strengthening our relationship even more.” Well good for them! And lucky for the Js the cops didn’t come in all guns blazing. Of course, it it had been you or me . . .

Any mention of a gun would have elicited a very different result, both at the time and thereafter. We’re talking SWAT then, and all guns confiscated after the fact. Which raises a quick sub-point.

If you and the the Mrs. are experiencing a similar sort of “disagreement” on a regular basis (i.e. if your marriage is going to hell), it might be a good idea for all your guns to disappear. “Nope,” I don’t carry anymore. And I’ve put all my other guns into storage.” After the divorce, you can take up the “hobby” again.

Remember: the cops have to take a manufactured threat as seriously as a real one. If the little woman drops the dime on you, the po-po will confiscate your guns in a New York minute. And no judge in the world is going to just hand them back. Just sayin’.

OK, so, 911 calls during a home invasion (for example).

The 911 operator is trained to keep you on the line as long as possible. In general they tend to ask the right questions at the outset (location, threat, etc.). They soon go off the reservation, saying and asking anything to stop you from terminating the “conversation.”

First, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. That includes your tone of voice, word choice, and what you don’t say. It’s easy for the police, DA and jury to take all of that out of context. And there’s nothing you can do to un-ring that bell.

More importantly, the operator will distract you from your main mission: situational awareness. You need to focus on what’s going on in your immediate environment, plan and execute. All this without someone steering you through the process.

So tell the 911 operator the basics—name, nature of emergency, location and a description of yourself—and then put the phone down. Don’t disconnect. Just put it down. The emergency services will keep recording the call. So they can trace you if needs be. You’ll have audio evidence of whatever happens next.

So keep in mind that you’ll be playing to an audience. A verbal warning to any home invader will be very, very helpful in any post-encounter kerfuffle. If you have time to issue one.

If not, no sweat. Just keep in mind that you’ll be playing to an audience. If you’re uncomfortable with that, just give the operator the basics, hang up and deal.

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9 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Make Your 911 Calls Short and Sweet

  1. How did he not end up in jail for the night? I was under the impression that police always take away the male in a DV situation, regardless if she wants to press charges.

  2. Do you mean to say that there are two sets of laws — one for the rulers and one for the rest of us? I’m shocked. Shocked!

  3. “Hang up and deal”
    Seriously??? That is the worst advice you’ve ever given. EVER.

    Police & EMS will certainly be in their way. Now… When you were too shy to kill someone “for your audience” the police have no idea who the victim is, who the homeowner is, and you now just screwed yourself out of any evidence to exonerate you or mount an affirmative self-defense defense in court like “stop! Put the knife down!!! Bang!”

    • You’re assuming that A) you won’t make any “mistakes” during the home invasion and B) the audio recording will work in your favor. Let’s hope that’s true, but there’s no guarantee.

      For example, what if you swear at the perp? Put the GD knife down you effing m’effing bastard or I will effing blow your effing head off! That could hurt you in court.

      Also, as I said, ID yourself in your phone call, provide your 10-40 and give a quick assessment of the threat.

      What you don’t say (i.e. what no one hears you say) can’t be used against you.

    • Hey chuckles!

      News flash… You don’t warn them you “shoot to stop them” and then you hold your ready portion, in case there are other bad guys that you also need to, “shoot to stop.” Lots of times they come in twos and threes.

      The rules for cops are that 21 feet away from your person, someone with a knife can kill you before you get your first round on target. If you are not a trained LEO, you have even less incentive to warn and wait. Don’t give up your tactical advantages because you saw them do it on TV.

      Hopefully, it won’t be a member of a SWAT team you are pointing your gun at because of a mistaken address or blanket warrant which allows them to kill you without any consequences.

  4. Double standards definitely. And regarding hanging up on 911, it’s been my experience that they will call you back.

  5. Yep, I am running for office. I want some of these special rights and considerations. I should be able to get that “politician license plate” on my truck and motorcycle and act like an empowered maniac, not just a regular maniac.

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