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Lessons Learned

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2 New Use Of Force Court Decisions Offer Valuable “Learning Points”

Two recent federal appellate decisions are good reminders of how US judges may assess claims of excessive force where unarmed suspects are involved. Atty. Michael Brave, always a popular legal updater at ILEETA conferences and other venues, tells Force Science News that these cases “have many learning points” for trainers, police attorneys, and street officers...
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“Blue Lives Matter”: Powerful True Cases To Help Officers Survive

Some of the most important lessons in law enforcement are taught by involuntary instructors. These teachings come from the grave, imparted by officers who made the ultimate sacrifice and, regrettably, often unwittingly abetted their own sad fate through misjudgments, vulnerable tactics, and flawed decision-making. Beginning decades ago with the groundbreaking writing of the late and...
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SWAT Vet’s Research Analysis: Why Tactical Ops Succeed Or Fail

At the core of another recent research-based book are detailed dissections of what went wrong and what went right in six high-risk SWAT callouts where lives teetered on the edge–and in some cases were needlessly lost. SWAT Operations and Critical Incidents: Why People Die reflects the unique background of its author. Across a 30-year law...
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Success Story: Cops 2, Plaintiffs 0 In Excessive Force Lawsuits

Part of a periodic series Sgt. Thomas Ovens, an officer in the state of Washington, had scarcely hung up his diploma from the Force Science Certification Course when, in quick succession, he was called on to help defend two major lawsuits against police. In one case, officers with a large department in Eastern Washington shot...
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Surprises, Frustrations, Lucky Breaks: Lessons From NJ Mall Shooting

When a 20-year-old white male, dressed in black and wearing a black motorcycle helmet, stepped through the door with his finger on the trigger of an assault rifle, it turned out to be a lucky night for police and patrons at New Jersey’s largest shopping mall. Starting at about 1730 hours Nov. 4, the gunman...
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What Worked For Me: Personal Stories Of Blue-On-Blue Survival

Editor’s note: Out of respect and sympathy for the officers involved in this tragic incident and in admiration for the agency’s courage in pursuing learning points that will help keep other officers safe, we have chosen to remove the actual names of the agents and the department associated with this event. In Part 1 of...
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“What Worked For Me”: Personal Stories Of Blue-On-Blue Survival

Part 2 of a 2-part series In the Force Science survey we reported on in our last transmission, officers were asked to describe any blue-on-blue encounters they had personally experienced. In all accounts submitted, tragedy was successfully avoided, although in some cases just barely. Officers in plainclothes who potentially could have been fatally mistaken for...
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More Force Science Successes In Real-World Situations

Part of an occasional series Earlier this year, we launched a series of articles on how Force Science teachings can be successfully applied to real-world law enforcement situations. Here are two more examples from graduates of the certification course in Force Science Analysis. If you have experiences of your own that would be instructive to...
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Dan Lovelace’s Battle Back To Law Enforcement

Dan Lovelace has been to the dark side of the law enforcement moon. Targeted by a prescription drug abuser who tried to run him over. Swirled into a media frenzy when he shot and killed her. Fired by his agency and brought to trial for murder by a zealous prosecutor. Shunned like a leper by...
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