They know from their training and experience that escalation increases the likelihood of someone getting hurt.
It sounds like Cpl. Bailey understood that. If Baber was not putting up a fuss, then there was no need to make it rougher on the suspect than necessary.
Tragically, the goodwill of the troopers was met by evil in Baber.
Now, given the horrible outcome of that day, it's hard to imagine law enforcement officers cutting a suspect any slack. Baber's willful rampage not only took two lives and damaged two others, but it also made the job of keeping the peace in West Virginia even more stressful and challenging.
Col. Jay Smithers, superintendent of the State Police, recognized that in his remarks during Sunday's memorial service for Cpl. Bailey.
"It's my sincere hope and prayer that each of us will refuse to become discouraged by the events that caused us to be here today and we'll remain steadfast in our duties as peacemakers so that we may also receive our heavenly reward," Smithers said.
Hundreds of state troopers, sheriff's deputies and city police officers from across the state, and even more from across the country, attended Bailey's memorial service Sunday. Just as many officers will be at Workman's service today.
Then they'll head back to their respective jurisdictions and return to their jobs. The routine will settle in again.
But they may never view the risk and responsibility that goes with being a police officer in quite the same way.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.