MOUNT VERNON — First responders, social workers and all individuals who work with “citizens from diverse economic backgrounds” are invited to register for the Tactical Communication Program, a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop, Thursday, Oct. 18, which will feature guest speaker Jodi Pfarr.

Dan Humphrey, founder of workshop co-sponsor TouchPointe Marriage & Family Resources, explained that the workshop is aimed at bringing awareness to the different ways that individuals in different socioeconomic statuses communicate, while also teaching first responders and all those who work with individuals coming from a “poverty culture” how to better communicate with the individuals they encounter.

Humphrey explained that the “hidden rules,” unspoken cues and habits that socioeconomic groups have, differ between each group. A breakdown in communication can occur when individuals assume that others in other groups will respond the same way they would.

“As middle class people, we think like middle class people and expect that everyone else is thinking the same way,” Humphrey said. “In a crisis situation it will help a police officer, nurse, social worker or whoever to understand what a person is actually saying and how to de-escalate a situation and to understand the circumstances that a person in poverty faces. It’s a matter of teaching individuals to ask clarifying questions before they respond and react. Listening goes a long way. It’s just trying to get people to listen and to understand the hidden rules when dealing with people in poverty.”

Pfarr, who served as a certified critical debriefer for the St. Paul, Minneapolis Police Department, is a noted speaker that brings a wealth of information and humor to her presentations, Humphrey said. A copy of Pfarr’s book, “Tactical Communication,” will be provided to all attendees and used during the workshop. For more information about Pfarr visit

“The fact is, we don’t always look at our communication skills and sometimes it is needed,” Chief Probation Officer Dave Priest said. “This is just a terrific reminder that anyone can benefit from improved communication skills. I’m very pleased that we can bring this to the community and to be able to do more collaborations in the community [with our co-sponsors]. It’s just another way to bring these partnerships together.”

The cost of registration includes the workshop, a continental breakfast, lunch and a copy of Pfarr’s book “Tactical Communication.” Humphrey noted that coordinators are currently seeking approval of state boards to allow the program to count for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attendees.

The tactical communications workshop will be held Thursday, Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Foster Hall in MVNU’s Ariel Arena at 800 Martinsburg Rd. in Mount Vernon.

Tickets are available online at under the event name “Tactical Communications for First Responders.” For more information, contact Dan Humphrey at 740-501-6054 or via email at


Callan Pugh: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



Previous Story


Rules: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other commenters personally and keep your language decent. If a comment violates our comments standards, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member.