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Officer Safety

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Accountability Meets Inconvenient Truths

Cognitive dissonance: that terrible feeling you get when confronted with information that challenges your view of the world. You can ignore the new information, blindly accept it, or interrogate it. Look for distinctions between what you believed and what you are being told. If there are none, maybe you just learned something and can adjust...
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Realistic De-Escalation: Setting Conditions

(Part 2b) “The police officer should have recognized the situation, and instead of confronting the armed suspect, he should have taken the time to back away, be patient, and wait for additional officers.” The shooting review continued, “Instead of escalating the situation, the officer should have de-escalated.” Since officers routinely talk people into handcuffs, there...
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Realistic De-Escalation: Balancing Risk

(Part 2a) After 30 years of crisis counseling, de-escalation, negotiation, and persuasion, I’m convinced few things require as much skill as talking dangerous people into handcuffs. But, regardless of an officer’s skill, when the risk of delay is too great, there may be no time for de-escalation. In those cases, if an officer uses force,...
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How To Avoid Legal Missteps On Suicidal-Subject Calls

With threatened and completed suicides dramatically on the rise, LEOs are increasingly facing challenging and complex calls about people in perilous crisis. The overwhelming response objective, of course, is to save lives. But if officers don’t understand the legal realities of these dicey situations, they run the risk of making matters worse, with the officers...
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New Study: Perils & Protections In Dealing With Excited Delirium

A new study headed by an Advanced Force Science Specialist finds that an officer who confronts a subject in the throes of excited delirium stands nearly a 90% chance of ending up on the ground in a struggle with potentially serious consequences. The more symptoms of excited delirium a subject exhibits, the greater his likelihood...
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Force Science Launches New Studies Of Assailants’ Threatening Moves

A major fresh look at some of the Force Science Institute’s seminal research on the physical dynamics of assaults on officers is underway at two universities. The goal, says FSI’s executive director Dr. Bill Lewinski, is to use highly sophisticated technology that’s now available to more deeply explore earlier findings that have become critical to...
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What Situations Put You At Greatest Risk On The Street: New Report

What kinds of calls for service present the greatest risk of fatal attacks for US law enforcement officers? Here’s the latest grim ranking, according to a newly released updated report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the federal DOJ that covers a seven-year span from 2010-2016: Domestic dispute calls were the most...
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FSI Investigates Unintentional Discharges: When Are You At Greatest Risk?

When are you most likely to experience the shock and potentially deadly consequences of an unintentional discharge: a) While clearing an area in response to a call? b) While performing routine firearms tasks, including cleaning your weapon? c) While already engaged with a suspect in high-risk circumstances? And where is this unwanted firing most likely...
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FSI Study: The Surprising Deadly Threat Of Firearms Novices

In a close up gunfight, who stands a better chance of delivering an immediately fatal shot to the head: an officer who has completed typical police firearms training or a subject who has little or no experience with a handgun? Alarmingly, according to a newly published study by the Force Science Institute, the odds lie...
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