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New Assault Studies Ready for Publication

The Force Science Institute has completed three new studies on the speed and movements associated with armed assaults. Dr. Bill Lewinski explained: “The goal of our research was to obtain highly accurate measurements to further explore the findings of our earlier studies. Where we once measured movement speeds in the hundredths of a second, we...
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Unintended: A Theory of Taser / Weapon Confusion

Editor’s Note: Studying performance errors in policing can be difficult for researchers who cannot ethically replicate the dangerous conditions present in lethal force encounters. To overcome this limitation, researchers routinely consider evidence derived from other professions and industries (e.g., aerospace (Airbus), aeronautics (NASA), pharmaceutical, occupational safety and health, medical, industrial engineering, and transportation). Recent events...
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Causing Suspects to Attack You

To participate in police-reform discussions, it’s helpful to appreciate the multiple incentives driving the movement. Some believe that the police are members of a racist system and that violent criminals are merely responding to years of systemic oppression. Others believe that the police provoke violence or simply don’t do enough to avoid it. In either...
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“Progressive” Police-Reform

Where civic leaders embrace “progressive reforms,” such as “equity,” “social justice,” and the “dismantling of systemic racism,” it is no longer obvious that the training, education, and experience of police officers will play a central role.
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Police Progress: Moving Beyond Ideas, Intuition, and Theories

Ideally, police reform will involve the careful translation of research (knowledge) into practice. The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing recently made this case in Process for Translating Research to Practice, citing the requirement for collaboration between researchers and police practitioners.1 It’s this process that ensures reform proposals are not the product of untested ideas, intuition,...
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Puncturing a Castle Defense

Editor’s NoteWhen investigators contacted the Force Science Institute (FSI) to consult on the Daniel Holtslander case, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSI, identified inconsistencies between the suspect’s version of the assault and the available forensic evidence. Notably, the position that the suspect claimed to have been in during the assault (lying face up in...
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Rethinking “Show Me Your Hands!”

Officers know that “hands kill” and that they should “watch the hands.” These well-founded concerns are what prompt demands for suspects to “show me your hands!” The irony is that an order to “show me your hands” or “take your hands out of your pockets” may invite the same movement from a compliant suspect as...
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Tell Me Exactly What You Heard

In our last article, Honest But Not Accurate, we rejected the idea that an officer’s memory was the equivalent of a video recorder. We cautioned that inconsistencies between an officer’s memory and a video recording could result from human performance factors and are not necessarily evidence of intentional deception. But even in cases without video...
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Force Science Scholarship Award Winners

We’re thrilled to announce the recipients of the Force Science Scholarship Awards. This award was created from a partnership between VirTra and the Force Science Institute, allowing twelve outstanding peace officers around the country to earn a scholarship to a five-day Force Science Certification Course in 2021. The peace officers chosen were from: Ames Police...
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Honest But Not Accurate

In 2013, Force Science News shared the story of a Grover Beach (CA) police officer who was fired after attempting to use his Taser on a kidnapping suspect. After forcing entry into a garage, officers found the man sitting in a car with the baby in his arms. With only the light from his Taser...
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