Verbal Judo Tips From UT Police
Lt. Michael Redmond, who teaches Verbal Judo for UT Police, says one mistake employees make is putting on their police hats and responding instinctively when confronted with anger. Police officers are trained to figuratively take off their police hat and calm situations with diplomacy, he says. Redmond, a self-described Boston native with an extremely loud voice, learned that lesson as a rookie officer for UT Police in 2001. He tried to stop a domestic dispute between a man and woman at the Main Building's loading dock with sheer vocal power. "I realized immediately that this lady was a lot louder than me and that I was dealing with a far superior force," he says today. "How could I defeat that superior force? I couldn't get any louder." A veteran officer gained control over the disturbance by lowering his voice. "He brought the peace," Redmond says. Verbal Judo works from the same premise: redirecting force into cooperation using words, tone and body language. Police officers and security guards with UT Police are formally trained in the practice, and Redmond is certified to teach Verbal Judo along with Reginald Rainey, public safety supervisor, and Manuel Leston, police officer. They developed the concentrated version of the course for MD Anderson employees last year based on the ICU incident. "Judo is the gentle way," Redmond says. "It's selling someone on what you want them to do."