All courses are designed to be complementary for an agency's overall Use of Force risk assessment and management. Our training provides advanced understanding and application of the Four Elements of Reasonable Force specific to a given position (officer, instructor, supervisor, etc.). For risk to be minimized, there also must be an ethical component. It is not enough to be legally justified. Everything legal is not always ethical. Just because a good policy or best practice says one can, doesn't mean one should. How officers make decisions, especially under rapidly evolving circumstances and varying levels of threat is critical. How officers document force is just as important as using reasonable force. How instructors teach use of force risk management is just as important as how supervisors review use of force. What processes does your agency use for all? And what are the risks for your agency for training for officers, instructors, and supervisors?
This course is part of the Use of Force Risk Management series and is designed for the frontline officer. Use of Force Risk Management requires an understanding of many factors. Training for officers in Use of Force Risk Management is not provided in Basic Law Enforcement Training. . Understanding and applying the Four Elements of Reasonable Force (Knowledge, Skills, Decision Making, Documentation) are provided in this course. This allows officers to assess their current risk and know how to improve it. Skills in overcoming resistance from non-compliant persons and when to safely attempt, continue, or stop de-escalation skills are provided. Reasonable force knowledge and skills are not enough to minimize risk. Officers must be proficient in decision-making under threat. This course breaks down decision-making into a process that can be done quickly in rapidly evolving circumstances and does not need to be changed depending upon the level of threat. A duty to intervene to stop potential excessive force must also be trained and not merely a statement in policy. Force documentation continues to be a high-risk area for officers. This course provides a process for officers to assess their narratives and ensure it contains all relevant information and be able to confidently testify years later.
This course focuses on individual use of force assessment by supervisors. Understanding and applying the Four Elements of Reasonable Force (Knowledge, Skills, Decision Making, Documentation) are given. "Root Cause" analysis skills are developed to differentiate between symptoms and causes. This course breaks down decision-making and documentation into processes that can be evaluated objectively. Understanding how to request additional clarity and detail from officers/deputies without corrupting the process is an important skill to understand and practice. This assessment process can be applied to evaluate performance in all use of force training (BLET, in-service, remedial) as well. The design of this course also improves supervisor risk management for failing to train and/or supervise in both the training and field environment. De-escalation is a part of the use of force assessment. This course provides an assessment process for de-escalation knowledge, skills, decision-making, and documentation. This course provides the basis for evaluating force incident risk in the following areas: Criminal/Civil, employment, decision making, and stress management. Accurate force risk assessment of incidents and training allow for better management and predictability of future incidents as well as managing on-going incidents. This allows supervisors to be proactive in their duties and provide command staff a more accurate understanding of not just individual force risk, but agency force risk management.
There are Four Elements that must be present at a minimum level in order to have a use of force to be reasonable. This course provides instructor level knowledge in all four. Selected Supreme Court and Circuit Courts of Appeals cases are covered to provide a comprehensive understanding of use of force assessment and risk management. Applied use of force concepts reduce the likelihood of the "silo" effect between use of force areas (firearms, defensive tactics, communication, etc.). Understanding and being able to assess common physical skills used in law enforcement improves practical effectiveness and prevents training scars.
Knowledge and Physical skills are not enough for officers to have the ability to use force reasonably. Research indicates our brains want to make decisions differently under stress than without it. All law enforcement decision-making models do not address this key factor. Also, current models are too broad and are not brought down to the process level. In other words, they are not practical for field use and fail under rapidly evolving circumstances. We have designed "Branched Force Decision Making" specifically for law enforcement. This is a binary decision-making process that works with the stress response. It improves decision-making speed while managing stress. It gives officers the ability to act reasonably, assess, and critically think in the moment. It is simple and does not need to be changed for different levels of threat. This process integrates de-escalation skills without compromising safety or the need to act immediately. It allows for improved recall of critical thinking and decision making for documentation. Since this is a process, it can be objectively evaluated and assessed. The final element skill that must be present is documentation and evaluation of force. For this element we have created the 5-Step Clarity/Detail Loop. This documentation process organizes the "who, what, where, when, why, and how" of a use of force in a logical, simple process. It provides a platform that prevents leading or corrupting questions by managers and subject matter experts. These "loops" provide easy locating points for ease of recall and testimony. This process is universal for officers, supervisors, Professional Standards, instructors, and Command Staff.
This course provides instructors the basis to evaluate training, curriculum, force policies, and procedures in order to identify instructor risks in use of force training and how to manage it.
We offer Use of Force Subject Matter Expert assessment and services. Our consulting can be for specific incidents or proactive Risk Assessment on training, policies, and procedures.
We design training to address specific risk as well as policy/procedure revisions.