The Thin Blue Lifeline: Verbal De-escalation of Mentally Ill & Emotionally Disturbed People – A Comprehensive Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers



I have had the opportunity to review and read THE THIN BLUE LIFELINE: Verbal De-escalation of Mentally Ill and Emotionally Disturbed People – For Law Enforcement Officers. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is relevant, well-written, operationally-based, and goes to the heart of the matter in dealing with people who are in crisis – not just for dealing with “mentally ill” folks – but virtually everyone with whom police officers come into contact. This moves policing communication so far beyond “Verbal Judo” and “Tac Com” that those systems cannot even compare (though, to be sure, there are some similar techniques that they utilise in those systems). In an age where police officers are under increasing pressure to move from call-to-call, there can be accompanying pressure to resolve situations more quickly than they should be resolved – which, when time is compressed, usually leads to the application of physical force. This book offers perspective, is incredibly insightful and will help officers recognize specific issues and conditions. It provides real-world, usable tools, tactics and techniques to help resolve situations at the preferred threshold of “Officer Presence” and “Communication.” If you own books such as: “The Art of War”; “Sharpening the Warrior’s Edge”; “On Killing”; “Training at the Speed of Life”; “Police Pistolcraft”; “Warfighting”; “Terror at Beslan”; “On Combat”; “The Green Beret in You” – you MUST add this extremely relevant text to your library. I wish I had read this book 25 years ago. –Joel A. Johnston Staff Sergeant 1314 Use of Force & Municipal ERT Coordinator Province of British Columbia

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About the Author

Ellis Amdur balances two careers, that as a crisis intervention specialist, through his company, Edgework and as a 50+ year practitioner of traditional Japanese martial arts. His writing meets right in the middle. Through his company, Edgework Books, he has self-published ten books on the verbal de-escalation of aggression and calming of agitated mentally ill people, one each for those in the social services personnel, for hospitals, for families, for police officers, for firefighters and EMTs, for parole/probation officers, for 911 call-takers, for security guards, correctional officers in a jail setting and for worksite safety (HR, threat assessment professionals, etc), some co-written. In addition, he has published Shapeshifting: Effective Scenario Training for Hostage Negotiation Teams, co-written with Fmr. Sgt. Lis Eddy. He has also released a video and instructional book on verbal de-escalation for the armed citizen, through the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA).
Amdur has also published Body and Soul: Toward a Radical Intersubjectivity in Psychotherapy, a combination of a lyrical description of how phenomenology and dialogal philosophy can be applied to psychotherapy, followed by two heart-wrenching accounts showing how these abstract principles are embodied in the real world.
He has written and published three books on martial arts, the iconoclastic Dueling with Osensei: Old School, a work on classical martial traditions and most recently, Hidden in Plain Sight, on esoteric knowledge within various Japanese martial traditions. All three of these books, in revised, expanded editions are published by Freelance Academy Press.
Along with authors Neal Stephenson, Charles Mann & Mark Teppo and artists Robert Sammelin and Dean Kotz, Ellis has released the Jet City Comics graphic novel, the Cimmaronin.
His first novel, The Girl with the Face of the Moon is published on Amazon KDP, with an illustrated print version pending. He is currently working on his second novel.
His books are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes, but it is also backed by solid research, and boots-on-the-ground experience.

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