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PostSubject: Some Questions   Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:27 pm

So, I have done a lot of reading and reasearch on this forum and off of it. By now I have, what I would say, a pretty good idea of what rlsh are and what they do. More importantly, I know what they do NOT do; they are NOT vigilantes and that behavior is both socially unacceptable here and illegal. Knowing what I do, I'm still not sure if this is something I want to pursue. I don't really know why it's something that I feel like I want to be a part of, but I do feel that way. Even if I never go on a single patrol, even if I decide it isn't something I want to do, I still find it fascinating. I want to learn more about it and prepare myself if I do decide this is something I want to pursue.

That said, there is a lot I don't know and it isn't for a lack of me trying to find out... I have a few questions, and if you guys would be so kind as to share some light on the situation, I would really appreciate it. I'll try to keep this less wordy and less rambly, but... No promises...

1. I understand the mechanics of a citizen's arrest. I understand when and where it is necissary and when self defense is necissary and I definately understand what it means to not use excessive force. I also understand the police need to be contacted, beforehand if possible, for any situation where they would be needed. My questions are more about how to handle the situation afterwards. I remember reading Zetaman uses zip tie handcuffs, or at least that he carried them? Is that considered an acceptable standard for detaining someone violent before the cops show up? Afterwards, how do you handle the police? You file the police report with your real name. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of wearing a mask for the people who choose to do so? What about if it goes to court and you're summoned as a witness? How do you handle something like that?

2. I've seen a few people mention they bring along a cheap cell phone on patrols. I assume the objective here is just to keep your nice cell phone from being lost, broken, or stolen, and not to protect your identity. Am I correct in that thinking? We aren't supposed to hide our identity from the police or any officials when it isn't appropriate to.

3. If I DO decide to do this, it will be a while before I go out on any patrols. I will also work my way from the quieter parts of town to the more problematic ones slowly. I have no intention of doing anything before I am ready and I don't plan to put myself in a situation I don't feel I can adequately handle. However, one of my concerns is I don't think I'm located anywhere near anyone else who does this sort of thing. I would really love to team up with someone (when I'm ready) before I give this a try solo. I feel like it would be a lot easier to learn that way and a lot safer too. That said, is there any advice anyone can offer me in light of me doing this by myself? Nothing can really replace being there side by side with someone else, but any advice in that area would be warmly appreciated.

4. If I want to prepare myself to do this, it will be a long careful process. There are a number of things I need to do before I could ever consider even going on patrol to just observe. Physical training, self defense training, first aid, etc. Is there anything in particular in those or other areas people would reccomend? I would like to know what steps are necissary to prepare myself as best as possible.

5. While I feel like I have gathered a lot of information already, I know I still have a long way to go. I need to study my specific state laws on a lot of levels. What nonn-lethal weapons are legal to carry, exact citizen's arrest procedure, self defense laws, etc. Is there anything else you guys reccomend I read up on? Either about my state's local laws or anything else even. Do you reccomend I try to speak with a law enforcement official and ask them about it? I've heard some people did that to start out; they didn't come out and say "I'll be patrolling in a super hero costume, what is your advice?", but more on the lines of "I want to try to help keep an eye on the community and prevent crime. what are some permissable non-lethal weapons I could carry if the situation escalates to that, and what would your advise to me be?" Do you guys reccomend this? Yay or Nay?

6. Is there ANYTHING else you feel I should know? Anything you wish someone had told you? Anything you think I might be missing? At this point I'm just trying to learn as much as I can, and any advice anyone has to offer would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks to anyone who has anything to contribute here, and thanks for just reading past my mountain of text. I really will try and keep my posts more concise from now on... Really...
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PostSubject: Re: Some Questions   Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:37 pm

1. You do the best you can. The mask and the costume are there to protect your identity and project an ideal...However, in dealing with the police, you must be as cooperative as possible. There's really no use in acting haughty about them needing your name or to see positive identification; especially if you are involved in a "fight" of sorts. The best advice I can give you is: Be honest. If you're called as a witness, you need to remember that you may be asked what you were doing out, if you were looking for trouble, etc.; just be smarter than the bureaucracy and you'll be fine. Do the best you can.

2. Some RLSH use it as a means to not only safe-guard their real phone, but also as a cheap and effective means of masking their identity. As a way of for instance, one RLSH was requested to interview with MTV when the show was still going to happen...This turned into a mess, in which the RLSH lead MTV on a goose chase around his city, using a few different cheap cellphones to do so. Basically, he had claimed to be a vigilante and was, reportedly, paranoid about it being the police and not MTV. So, it could double as both, but I'd say more for the former than for the latter.

3. It may be in your best interests to grab a friend you can trust and ask them if they're interested in helping you. Find like-minded people, point them in that direction, or even try to inspire normal folks to keep an eye out too. If you must go solo, the best practice in a dangerous area would be to keep your head low...You may not want to wear your costume here as it could attract unnecessary attention to what you're doing. The key is to not look suspicious and to not look like a victim.

4. I would say that studying the criminal element around your city would be a good starting point, followed by picking up little survival techniques on the side. You never know when being able to properly clean a wound or properly stop bleeding might save you or someone else's life. Obviously, you would want to be in good physical condition, but honestly? I think a good majority of that stuff is secondary compared to knowledge. It's not about the strength of your body, but rather about the strength of your mind.

5. It sounds like a great idea. Some of the RLSH here have worked very closely with the police, are former police, or are close friends with police officers. I believe that Silver Sentinel and Superhero at least are currently in the business of security...They may even be able to offer a different perspective than what you'd find with other RLSH. You always want to be a concerned citizen to them first and an RLSH second. RLSH, after all, is a sensationalized title.

6. I wish someone had told me that you guys were entirely too interesting to quit.
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PostSubject: Re: Some Questions   Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:48 pm

TT, I'm working on making things MUCH more interesting. I'm not the only one either. Z is working on some brilliant gadgeteering himself, with a gravity board that doubles as a shield and weapon mount.
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PostSubject: Re: Some Questions   Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:46 pm

Thanks TT, I really appreciate all the helpful insight. I'll try to take everything you said to heart. If anyone else has anything to contribute or suggest I'm all ears.
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PostSubject: Re: Some Questions   Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:14 pm

1. yes it does defeat the purpose of a mask, yes if you go to court it would be as your no longer secret Idenity, This is yet another reason I have a Public ID, I can go to court in my Dress uniform if I want. With a mask & a ID you want to keep secret, your only chance is the get the Hell out of there as the police are arriving, and that's only in a case where there are other wittnesses that saw what the guy did, If the cops arrive & find some busted up guy laying there they are just going to untie/cuff him, say "What happened to you?" He's going to lie, you're in touble & he's free.

2. Yes, save your nice phone. also some of these guys want phones that don't have your real name show up on caller ID. Once again if you want to haide your ID, but if a cop comes up to you & says "let's see some ID, by God you better give it to him. You're right back to avoid contact if you want to keep your ID (God you're actually making me glad I have a public ID for once, this all sounds like such a pain in the ass)

3. Sidekicks & partners are fun, I've had them, they come and go as people come here to patrol with me then head home. Yes keep your head low in dangerous areas & observe, but if you aren't going to wear your gimmick what's the point? You think you'll be able to change into it in time? sorry Superman you don't move at light speed.

4. It's different for each person, I was a Pro-wrestler & have some martial arts, other guys have different things like Parkour training which is more like gmynastics etc. as for the medical traing? maybe you could take a first responder course or something? Basic first aid & CPR should cover your bases.

5.sounds like you have your bases covered, learn your state laws, I hope you're in a state where you actually have the right to defend yourself & can have proper gear like the bad guys do.

6. Hmmmmm.... "have Fun"?
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