The Coordinator is a much needed text for law enforcement officers. The book is one of the few guides available that tries to codify how officers can manage their encounters with individuals in emotional or psychiatric distress while maintaining a safe environment and tactically advantageous posture. More than that, the book teaches reaching across cultural and social divides that make it difficult for officers to be able to coordinate the action of the individuals they encounter during their patrol shifts.
Police encounters are of course human encounters like any other but where the situations officers find themselves in are high risk, high consequence.” In this sense, police work cannot simply be like “social work on the street.” What authors Amdur and Hubal call “coordinators” must manage high stakes interactions in unfamiliar settings and take an active role of maintaining control and exercising leadership within these situations. Amdur and Hubal emphasize a variety of perceptual and cognitive skills to develop to help officers make sense of the unfamiliar, develop their pattern matching abilities, detect anomalys, and maintain self control in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty. Of the action based skills Amdur and Hubal emphasize, error repair is perhaps the most important. Social interaction will and do go wrong. They are inherently unstable and filled with noisy information. Error detection and repair is the key to getting an encounter back on track from the inevitable misunderstandings and mistakes that will occur.
Officers who read this book will respect that the goal of the book is to solve a problem they struggle with regularly, how do officers “remain prepared for something going terribly wrong at any moment, while still maintaining the intention and ability to help?”
You can purchase the The Coordinator here at Amazon.
— Brian Lande