Police Duty to Intervene – Racial Intelligence during Block-Out


If any of us live too long in a place of BLAME, ANGER, or HATE… we become a ticking time-bomb that will likely lead to a Block-out escalated encounter.

What’s happening in an Officer’s life, before they head into Block-out?

Everyone deals with stress at some point in their life, that has nothing to do with their job. Things that can pull us all ‘Down our Ladder’ might be:RITE ladder bottom

  • Going thru separation or divorce
  • Financial strain or debt
  • Kids failing or getting into trouble
  • Taking care of aging parents
  • Being bullied as a child… or bullied as an adult

All of these factors can pull someone down to the bottom of the RITE Ladder (see photo right). The more we live down towards the bottom, the worse we feel.

The worse we feel for any length of time, the more we tend to pull others down the Ladder with us. This is also known as ‘The Crab Bucket Theory’


What leads to Block-out?

Our classes on Racial Intelligence start with learning how to communicate with ourselves. When we learn to look inside and ask questions like,

“What am I feeling when I am being yelled at?” or “What makes me mad?” … these are just starting points for most officers that were taught you don’t have emotions, or learn to bottle up your emotions at all times.

As instructors of RITE, we often learn in class, that officer’s ‘Hot Buttons’ started in the Sandbox. Below are two slides from one of our classes. They’re pretty self-explanatory… but ask yourself how they apply to you, or someone in your agency. There’s no doubt, that officers that go into Block-out could learn from both of these.


Over 400+ Police Departments are using the RITE Model, with Proven results.

RITE feel connect value

Racial Intelligence Training creates a Professional Workplace Culture that includes:

  • Racial Intelligence Training – Bias Free Community
  • Accountability Tools (Issued to All Employees)
  • Cultural SOP and Guidelines
  • RITE Pledge – Bias Free Culture

An Officer’s Duty to Intervene must be an SOP policy in every police agency. The RITE Training Emergency Response is to Step in, Tap out, and Take over 

‘Block-out’ on a police call, can END a career

As an Officer, do you remember a time when you lost control of the situation, (back when there were no cameras rolling)?  If you have ever worked on the streets or in the jails, then you probably had one of those moments.  In today’s world of smart phones and social media, that same moment could be career ending. ‘Block-out’ is when…

You Hear no one (Just your own voice, telling you, ‘Take control’)
You Feel nothing (Only negative emotions like Blame, Anger, or Fear)
You See no outcome (Other than your own… and it’s not a good one!)


  1.  You assume it’s a routine situation
  2. Racial profiling with bias, (before hearing all of the facts)
  3. Your emotions get escalated with negative actions of Anger, Hate, or Fear
  4. Without learned Behavioral Self-Control, you react aggressively
  5. You see only one outcome, (and no one can tell you otherwise)

If you’ve reached #5, it’s too late… You’re IN BLOCK-OUT and the call likely got escalated!

It only takes 2 seconds to flash into Block-Out Syndrome. RITE Training Emergency Response teaches partners to immediately intervene. ~ Linda Webb

Take the path to career resiliency!

Heading down the wrong road, towards being IN BLOCK-OUT, can be avoided. Learning what emotions take control of you (under stress), the Social Intelligence of dealing with others, plus the steps that get you into trouble, you can then learn how to avoid Block-out. In order to De-Escalate the next call, you need to  understand your Emotional Intelligence (EI).

  1. There are no routine situations. Stay Alert to all surroundings
  2. Use your Racial Intelligence (RI). How is your (EI) and (SI) helping you gather all the facts?
  3. Do an Emotional Intelligence (EI) check. Are you bringing anything negative to this call (Anger, Frustration, Fear)?
  4. Take a 2-second pause, using your Behavioral Self-Control. (Others will react to how you act)
  5. Be open to all outcomes… (not just the one swirling inside your head)

You’ve avoided BLOCK-OUT… It’s NEVER too late to DE-Escalate!

Chief Rob Hicks says it best:

One of the key things I got out of this Training, was even though you may have a bad start, you’ve had a bad day, you’re “low on the ladder” and you realize that your interaction is not going well… you can stop, you can rethink, you can apologize for how you just acted or just correct yourself It’s not too late, you can always De-escalate. [YouTube Video]

The RITE program has taught police and corrections departments communication skills that transcend beyond work life. During training, we encourage Officers to take their training tools home (like the Block-out chart seen above), and teach their children, family and friends. If your agency is looking for alternative ways to improve officers De-escalation communication, unbiased policing, cultural diversity and officer wellness, contact us. RITE is committed  to officer career resiliency. Let’s keep our officers safe!

Racial Intelligence training for law enforcementRITE Training helps law and corrections agencies improve communication to avoid the Block-out Syndrome, to De-escalate situations, build Career resiliency, Leadership skills, and Departmental recruiting. See our EVENTS page for our next training.

Contact us about TRAINING for your agency.

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