Science-Based, Validated, Cutting-Edge Training That Works!

Training Services

Since our inception in 2004, Raptor Protection has been dedicated to the research and development of risk assessment, communication skills, use of force, decision making and personal safety techniques, as well as resiliency and critical incident stress tolerance.

Our driving ambition is to deliver training that is supported by the most current research into human kinetics, biomechanics, attention and perception and decision making. As the research and best practices have continued to develop over the years, so our training programs have continued to evolve.

Our Use of Force for Investigators program, which took over two years to fully develop, is specifically designed for the investigator who is responsible for investigating complex use of force incidents.

Whether you are seeking training on how to optimize crisis decision making for your staff, seeking to improve your employees ability to effectively communicate and deescalate conflict with clients or to have the ability to control and manage violent encounters, Raptor training programs will both challenge and encourage the student as well as enhance their professionalism and that of your Organization.

Please take a few moments to review our courses and contact Raptor to inquire about how you can bring the most advanced public safety training to your agency!

Available Courses

Below is a list of the courses available at Raptor Protection & Safety Services.

For more information or to request a consultation on our training services, contact Chris Butler at

In critical occupations where events can unfold rapidly and change suddenly, the professional must be able to make rapid and accurate decisions in order to respond effectively – and in many cases, stay alive.

How do we actually make decisions? Why do some people seem to make extremely poor decisions in a crisis? How is it that some people seem to possess the ability to maintain ‘grace under pressure’ and respond effectively? Why do some hyperventilate, panic or freeze?

How do we train and prepare ourselves to be able to rapidly assess a complex or dynamic scene and make appropriate decisions?

The Human Factors in Crisis Decision Making course will cover the following components:

  1. Types of human error (categories of errors and mistakes)
  2. The ‘near miss’ – capturing and learning from close calls (yours and others)
  3. Root causes of decision errors (underestimation of risk, failure to recognize risk cues, conflicting goals, failing to plan for potential consequences)
  4. The three common components of adverse events (latent factors in the ‘system’, failure of safeguards, ‘trigger’ events that initiate an error trajectory)
  5. James Reason’s ‘swiss cheese’ model of human error
  6. The primary human factors causing fatal errors (judgment, lack of necessary skill, inadequate knowledge)
  7. The three levels of decision making (skill-based, knowledge-based, judgment-based)
  8. Root causes of fatal judgment error (overconfidence, inflexibility, selfishness, complacency, communication breakdown).
  9. The neurology of human decision making (non-stress vs stress arousal environments).
  10. Recognition-Primed decision making (Klein’s Naturalistic Decision making)
  11. Context cues and decision making
  12. Heuristic models and decision making
  13. Heuristic “traps” and how they kill us (‘killer decision making’)
  14. Heuristic errors and how to recognize them in yourself and others: 1) Familiarity, 2) Consistency, 3) Over Confidence, 4) Expert halo, 5) Social facilitation, 6) Scarcity, 7) Complacency after reaching objective, 8) The ‘look but fail to see’ trap.

This fascinating and dynamic course is typically presented in an 8-hour module although 4-hour sessions can also be delivered. The Instructor will utilize several real-life case examples of crisis decision making and errors. The student will leave this course with an understanding of the various levels of decision making and strategies and tools to enhance their personal decision-making skill and safe guard against serious decision error.

To book this course for your organization, contact Chris Butler at

“There can be no medical treatment of a violent patient without restraint”
– Dr Lloyd Denmark Chief Coroner Calgary

Imagine a team of paramedics confronted with a violent patient who requires immediate medical intervention; even if first restrained and handcuffed by law enforcement officers, in order for appropriate medical treatment to be administered the cuffs must be removed – then what?

Imagine an aggressive or violent patient requiring urgent medical care delivered to a hospital emergency room, trauma centre or rural health care facility. What techniques are you confident that your personnel can use or apply to restrain the patient in the safest manner possible?

What policies and procedures are in place to aid medical care professionals in your organization to fully understand the moral and legal implications of patient restraint?

If your medical organization has firm policies, procedures, tactics and devices supported by training that is legally and medically defensible – good for you! Historically however, this emerging issue facing medical professionals is not commonly addressed. Typically, paramedics, ER nurses, ER doctors and hospital security personnel are often left up to their own devices to manage this issue. This usually results in non-standard techniques being used in an attempt to restrain a patient and a variety of ad-hoc restraint devices being invented ‘on the fly’. The risk inherent in this shortcoming is the likelihood of injuries to health care staff or further injury to the patient during the restraint process or from the use of improper restraint devices.

The Humane Patient Restraint Techniques program is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of front line medical health care professionals. With the rise in proliferation of mind altering drugs and other central nervous system stimulants and hallucinogens, frontline medical personnel are faced with patient restraint challenges like never before.

Based upon the philosophy that all medical intervention is predicated on the principle of ‘Do No Harm’, the Humane Patient Restraint program provides tactics and techniques to restrain a violent or aggressive patient in a manner that minimizes the risk to the patient and medical personnel.

Utilizing a blend of verbal and physical control tactics, the student will understand the implications of restraining a patient, how to approach and restrain, how to transition from law enforcement handcuffs to other restraint methods, how to secure a restrained patient for safe transport in ground or air ambulance.

The basic HPRT course is four hours and consists of classroom and static practical application of the restraint techniques.

The advanced HPRT course is eight hours and consists of the basic HPRT components plus dynamic scenario-based training in the medical environment.

For more information on the HPRT course, please contact Chris Butler at

The Raptor Handcuffing and Control Program is based upon research-based techniques that have been validated in over twenty years of law enforcement training and operational application. The course instructors are highly accomplished and certified Trainers in a broad variety of effective control tactic systems and techniques.

During this 8 hour program students will learn:

  • The legal, medical and practical implications of handcuffing.
  • Handcuff application techniques on cooperative subjects.
  • Handcuff application techniques on resistant subjects.
  • Handcuff application techniques on combative subjects.
  • Transitions from physical control holds to handcuff application while preventing any opportunity for escape or counter-attack.
  • Effective and safe takedowns using handcuffs as a control tool.
  • Effective use of communication techniques throughout the control and handcuffing process.
  • Proper and systematic search techniques.
  • Unique circumstances and challenges to handcuffing.

This course includes static training with sufficient repetition to gain the basic skills and then will progress to more dynamic training replicating application of handcuffs in realistic contexts.

Studies have indicated that first responders in critical occupations will spend the majority of their time communicating with people in a variety of situations. These citizens are often in a state of conflict or crisis which can make tensions high and the possibility of escalation a very real threat if the contact professional does not respond in a strategic manner. These citizens typically display a wide variety of behaviours which may include physical, emotional and mental health factors.

The Raptor Strategic Communication Course has been delivered to law enforcement officers, security professionals, nurses, doctors, firefighters and paramedics. Any employee working in an occupation where contact with persons in conflict or crisis is likely should strongly consider this program.

This course is designed to provide contact professionals with a wide variety of communication strategies to help resolve situations with the best possible outcome for all parties. The goal of this course is to utilize best practices in communication with members of the public across a spectrum of calls for service including lower risk everyday interactions and rare but complex high-risk interactions.  Ideally, students trained in this program will use the techniques to de-escalate elevated situations, talk uncooperative persons into voluntary compliance, and interact with members of the public in a positive and professional manner.

The course will provide training on:

  • Correct identification of a person in conflict or state of crisis,

  • Effective tactical principles of strategic communication to reduce tension,

  • Understand personal biases (implicit and explicit) that may present a barrier to effective communication,

  • Active listening techniques,

  • Rapport and influence building practices,

  • Persuasion techniques,

  • Recommendations for interacting with Persons in conflict or crisis,

  • Integrating Strategic Communication techniques with effective safety tactics.

The Strategic Communication course is typically delivered in an 8-hour module. However, both shorter and longer versions have been delivered to meet the unique training demands of the requesting organization.

For more information or to inquire about bringing this dynamic training to your organization, contact Chris Butler at

“The mind is its own place and in itself can make heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
Milton – Paradise Lost

The past decade in public safety training has been extraordinary. Evidence-based practices have brought the realms of science and research from various disciplines such as psychology, neurology, sports science and many others into our training paradigms. Likewise, improvements in technology have provided officers with the most advanced equipment and weaponry. Undoubtedly, these cutting-edge training methodologies and equipment have ensured Canada’s law enforcement officers and other public safety professionals are the most prepared they have ever been to enter the realm of crisis events and succeed.

This dynamic and riveting course will discuss what is perhaps the most under-addressed areas in training persons engaged in critical occupations: critical incident stress. It is truly a tragedy when a first responder survives the ‘fog of combat’ only to be later taken out by the avoidable effects of critical incident stress and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this session we will discuss the fundamental understanding of the workings of the mind, how critical incidents affect performance and memory formation and retrieval and how such memories impact behaviour below our level of consciousness. Finally, we will explore how to imbed personal habits and training methods (such as visualization, mindfulness and emotional intelligence) with strategies to further armour our minds to be extremely resilient against the potentially debilitating effects of traumatic incidents.

Throughout this course Chris will discuss his personal journey with PTSD – which has been published as a book chapter and is also used as a study module by students in the Psychology degree program at Berry College in Georgia.

The application of force on citizens by law enforcement officers in Canada is extremely important. The proper and healthy functioning of a free and democratic society such as ours certainly depends upon the establishment of laws to govern acceptable behaviour. And the establishment of laws is pointless without a requisite mechanism to enforce those laws. The consequence of these factors then, is that law enforcement officers are essential to upholding the Rule of Law and that the application of force in furtherance of the enforcement of those laws or in the defense of citizens or the officer will sometimes be required. Therefore, of immense interest to police executives, civilian oversight bodies, police commissions and indeed, all citizens of Canada, is ensuring that police agencies have sound training and policy reflecting the ‘ethos’ of what it means to be a law enforcement officer and how that understanding guides officers in making decisions reflecting the highest ethical and moral expectations the public ought to have of the police officers who serve this Country.

Law enforcement is a unique profession in which split-second decisions, especially those involving force response options are evaluated in a protracted fashion and from every conceivable angle. As a result, the ensuing investigation may produce forensic fact patterns which are substantially dissimilar from those experienced by the officers at the time that critical decisions resulted in the responses to a perceived threat. The resulting investigatory judgments based upon weeks, months or years of microscopic focus on a police officer’s actions, which typically occur within seconds or milliseconds, are in constant danger of unintentional hindsight bias, attributional errors and leading justice astray.

Therefore, when undertaking use of force reviews, one must constantly be mindful of the direction of the courts with respect to having the luxury of ‘detached reflection’ with which to consider the circumstances that the officer(s) faced and had to make critical decisions in a potentially difficult, emotional and dynamic environment. Police officers, during the course of their duties, occasionally have to use force in carrying out those duties in order to maintain public and officer safety. In determining whether or not the officers’ actions were appropriate in the circumstances requires a complete understanding of the unique context and the totality of the circumstances surrounding the event at the time force was used.

An expert analysing police use of force is constrained by the courts direction that they must review the force used by the officer having regard for the objective and subjective factors that influenced the officer’s choice of force response option(s). That is, the reviewer of police use of force incidents must constrain that review to what the officer knew and perceived at the time force was used. It is necessary to avoid the desire to conduct post dictions with a clinical and calm perspective on what the officers should have done under the dynamic, unpredictable and often violent circumstances that they faced.

To ensure officers and agencies are afforded with the most thorough, professional, objective, fact-finding investigation possible, an investigator must have a basic understanding of the fundamental issues relating to use of force principles. These critical principles include biomechanics, human movement, perception and attention issues, decision making and decision errors, to name a few.

The purpose of the Use of Force for Investigators course is to provide an overview of the application of force by police officers. It is not a thorough treatment of the numerous nuances of each use of force technique – of which there are many within each policing agency, between different municipalities, between provinces and across this vast Country. Instead, it is hoped that the reader will be brought to have a basic understanding of:

  • Retain a basic understanding of the history and philosophy of the use of force by police in Canada,
  • Examine a high-level view of the existing case law pertaining to the application of force and how to properly interpret the use of force,
  • Explore the development and application of use of force models/frameworks IMIM /NUFF – History, purpose and problems,
  • Understand the categories of subject behaviours,
  • Categorize force techniques and the possible risks in their use,
  • Identify situational factors unique to the context of each incident,
  • Recall officer impact factors, perception and tactical considerations,
  • Action / reaction and speed of assault principles,
  • Decision making, heuristics and decision-making errors,
  • Unintended Discharges – their main causes and effects,
  • Implication of human attention and attention deficits on perception and memory,
  • Crisis / trauma and the effects on memory consolidation and memory errors,
  • Considerations for interviewing the cooperative witness (timing, structure and type of interview) ,
  • Use of video in the investigative process – basic introduction into the significant errors and limitations of video,
  • Vehicle-involved OIS – considerations for investigating shots fired into vehicles.

This dynamic and challenging course is delivered over a two or three-day period. The instruction incorporates classroom lecture, demonstrations and case examples as well as Socratic questioning and argumentation. An extensive student manual is included in this program. Course pre-reading assignments are provided and encouraged in order for the student to maximize the learning potential.

For information on this one-of-a-kind program in Canada and to bring this training to your organization, contact Chris Butler at

Inter‑personal violence is an unfortunate reality of the world in which we live; in fact the impact of workplace violence costs private and public industry millions of dollars every year. Worse than the financial costs however, are the deleterious emotional impacts and risks of physical injury (which in some extreme cases can be serious bodily harm or death).

The world continues to become increasingly violent. Whether you live or work in a remote location, a large city or your company or clients travel to other countries, there exists a risk of workplace violence. Everyday the media bombards us with incidents of violence in our communities ranging from workplace violence, violent incidents in our schools, on our campuses, in our malls and churches. Our society continues to struggle against the dramatic increase in the proliferation of drug and alcohol related violent crimes.

Raptor Protection and Safety Services is committed to provide leading instruction, training and consulting in all aspects of workplace and personal violence mitigation strategies.

Early identification and intervention is a key aspect in preventing workplace violence.

The Workplace Violence Preparedness and Prevention Course will encourage both the employer and the employee to change the way we think about our safety. Raptor Protection challenges you to foster and maintain an attitude of personal awareness and safety; an attitude that will reduce the risk of violence happening to you, both on the job and in your personal life.

The underlying philosophy of any functional violence mitigation is the focus on risk assessments, awareness, recognition and avoidance. It is critical for the employee to have a consistent level of education and awareness that that permits early recognition of the escalating potential for physical violence and strategies for intervening in appropriate ways that increase the opportunity to, first and foremost, avoid a physical confrontation.

Having recognized that the majority of violent encounters can be predicted and avoided, the training you will receive will focus heavily on these strategies. However, we must also acknowledge that in some situations physical violence can find us quickly seemingly without any prior indications. In these circumstances, you need to have a level of mental preparedness that will allow you to employ the necessary physical maneuvers to defeat your attacker’s assault and allow you to disengage to a position of relative safety.

Each Workplace Violence Preparedness and Prevention course is tailored to the unique work environment and context of the organization.

For more information or to request a consultation, contact Chris Butler at


“Chris is an outstanding instructor who makes the interpretation of scientific studies applicable in the real world of law enforcement. Had the opportunity to be instructed by Chris today and after reading all the scientific studies, it was not until Chris broke it down and explained it that its application to how we train officer was made clear. His dedication to using science and extensive experience in evaluating use of force incidents and providing key training objectives to firearm instructors.”

Eric Daigle
, Daigel Law Group, LLC
“I have been fortunate to know Chris Butler and see the impact he has had on the training world first hand. His professionalism is only exceeded by his passion to provide solid and meaningful training. He believes in and lives the motto ‘when the master is no longer the student, he is no longer the master’. Chris strives to continue to learn and then apply that knowledge to what he does.

With 34 years of law enforcement / public safety experience and bringing evidence-based methodology into the training environment, I would highly recommend Chris for your training needs.”

Lon Bartel
Use of Force and Tactical Training Consultant
VirTra Subject Matter Expert
, Virtra

“Law enforcement training is neither an art nor a science. It is a craft and Chris Butler is a master craftsman. His ability to take complex scientific concepts and explain them in understandable terms, making them accessible to laymen and practitioners, is unparalleled. His experience, knowledge, and credibility in the field of law enforcement combined with his in depth understanding of human factors and decision-making in the context of police use of force encounters makes him a rare and valuable resource. His public speaking ability and presentation style are world class. Chris is one of the most knowledgeable yet humble law enforcement professionals I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and it is an honor to highly recommend him as both a police use of force expert and a master law enforcement instructor.”

Paul TaylorM.A., ABD (University at Albany, NY)Justice Quarterly: Managing EditorLaw Enforcement Instructor and Consultant
“Chris attended the 2015 annual conference of the Alberta Municipal Enforcement Association to present on decision making in law enforcement. I have undergone years of training in officer safety, control tactics and tactical communication. Chris was able to provide an all encompassing approach to the science behind what we do. He brought all of the fundamental issues to the learning floor and was able to support everything by using the science of the body, the mind, and the real time lessons learned from historical incidents. I will go out of my way to attend seminars offered by this plugged in and entertaining, but most importantly, knowledgeable instructor. You have my respect, sir.”
Dean YoungPeace OfficerFirst Responder, Mental Health Advocate, Author, Public Speaker and Community Safety Consultant