There has been a lot of talk here recently about the proper use of your weapons and your readiness to fight. But there is a flip side to all that: Professional communication. More often than not you will want to use your brains and your verbal skills to defuse a situation. I proclaim often that I would rather talk for 20 minutes than fight for two. And that's the way it should be.
Good communicators can talk a situation down and bring people back from the edge of violence. Bad communicators can push people over the edge and make things worse. If you have not take a professional police communications class like Verbal Judo or something similar, sign up for one. It can help
But remember, words sometimes fail. And how do you know when you are done talking? Use the acronym police use:
O Overriding concern
N No Progress
If there is clear danger, move to a position of tactical advantage, retrieve a weapon and get ready for action. Shift your verbalization to giving commands.
Overriding concerns can be just about anything that puts you into a bad situation or makes the situation more dangerous. If the hair on the back of your neck stands up, believe it.
No progress… well, while you are talking you should also be looking for escape routes, other dangers, cover, anything that can give you an advantage. Talking works, right up until it doesn't. Be aware.
Unless you are on duty and the person you are talking to is wanted, escape is your friend. If you are operating in a civilian capacity and a person decides to flee… let the person go. If you are required by law and believe you can do so safely, well, then use the appropriate level of force to stop the escape and make the lawful arrest.
This site may be about gear… but your best tool is your brain.