Archive for the ‘Police Training’ Category

Bias vs. behavior

December 4, 2017

This article provides an in-depth discussion of the difficulty of measuring bias (an  attitude) and determining its connection to discrimination (behavior). Police and other institutions have implemented training in recent years aimed at helping individuals identify and understand “implicit bias.” Research isn’t clear on whether the training is effective at changing behavior or even whether bias is mainly unconscious or conscious.

Advertisements

Humanities for police

November 29, 2017

This article describes a segment of in-service training in Baltimore that uses Plato, Steinbeck, Dostoevsky, and Baldwin to encourage officers to reflect on cynicism, respect, and other features of the human condition that they deal with in their work. The officer who teaches the course says “we are in the tradition of the western world. We’re kind of government on the ground. I mean, we have to represent democratic values. We have to represent those Enlightenment values in a very immediate way.”

Reaching for critical mass

November 15, 2017

This article provides an in-depth look at the low numbers of women in many federal law enforcement agencies, especially Customs and Border Protection (5%), and contrasts that with several municipal police departments that have taken a completely different approach to gender and the police culture. The chief in Madison, Wisconsin, which has 30% women, says “We’re looking for critical thinkers, people who are empathetic, good communicators, great at crisis intervention … I can teach a monkey how to shoot a Glock. The cerebral skills, the relational skills, that is the elusive commodity that you have to search for.”

Science of interrogation

October 29, 2017

This article provides an in-depth discussion of the psychology underlying effective interrogation. A study of over 1,000 hours of taped interrogations of terrorists confirmed that the key is rapport and projecting a genuine interest in what the suspect has to say, not trying to establish dominance or using confrontational techniques. Specialist training in the UK is now based on this research and well established methods from clinical psychology.

Policy, training, tactics

October 18, 2017

This 4-minute St. Louis public radio story and article discuss the role of policy, training, and tactics in deadly force situations. Public pressure is currently focused on tightening policies, but experts think unnecessary police shootings result more often from poor tactics such as failing to use distance and cover.

Joint police & fire/medic rescue

October 6, 2017

This article reports rescue efforts during the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Police and fire personnel had planned and trained together for active-shooter incidents and 16 rescue teams responded, each comprised of 3 paramedics and 4-6 officers. “The medics treated and transported the wounded to ambulances under the blanket of safety those officers provided, moving in unison with police from patient to patient.”

Taser deaths

August 22, 2017

This article begins a series from Reuters on deaths associated with conducted-energy devices (Tasers). The company cites a total of 24 deaths resulting from Taser use since 1983, all due to falls or electrical fires. Examining autopsy findings, though, the news agency identified 153 cases (out of 1,000+ fatalities) citing the stun gun as a cause or contributing factor. The first installment highlights several deaths involving persons who were in mental health or other medical distress.

Learning COP outside the academy

August 18, 2017

This bulletin from the Police Foundation reports the experiences of 29 recruits in New Haven, Connecticut who were required to participate in 40 hours of community engagement during their basic police academy. Most rated it positively, especially those not from the city, saying they gained a more accurate and sympathetic understanding of the neighborhoods and people they would soon be policing.

CIT success

August 14, 2017

This article describes the impact of Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT) in South Florida, where arrests and shootings of people in mental health crisis have plummeted in Miami and Miami-Dade County. Authorities have been able to close a jail and funding for a new comprehensive treatment center has been approved. A spin-off effect has been more officers seeking mental health advice and treatment themselves.

Interpreters needed

June 24, 2017

This blog post from the UK expresses the skepticism of front-line officers regarding evidence-based policing and the current push to infuse a stronger academic orientation in police development and promotion schemes. Attending a conference, the constable notes “On more than one occasion, the other delegates I sat with – all serving officers – turned to look at one another with one of two expressions … bewilderment [or] incredulity.”