A Focus on Trainers
The integrity of policing in our society is dependent upon ‘rightful policing’ practices. These practices reside upon the ability of police and law enforcement officers to demonstrate exceptional judgment and appropriate application of force if and when necessary. Officers must assess critical situations and decide how to best respond in a risk‑effective manner in what can often be time-compressed situations.
How individual officers respond during such incidents is heavily underpinned by how the officers were trained. This places an immense responsibility on law enforcement trainers and use of force instructors. As we continue to discover more about human performance and decision-making in complex, high-consequence, rapidly unfolding events, there is an absolute nexus between the quality of an officer’s decision-making and survivability and how the officer was trained.
— An officer never rises to the occasion; they fall to the level of their training. —
Bad training exists and should be categorized as education built without the foundational research and science in neurology, cognition, and motor learning principles. Training is both art and science. Therefore, the responsible law enforcement trainer’s focus and efforts necessitate creating training programs that reflect current research centered on correct skill selection, training design, and delivery for optimal learning and retention of critical police skills.
The following sections outline the content of this intensive training program: