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Perceptions

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Critical Incident Interviews: Is the 48-Hour Delay Still Good Advice?

Following a high-intensity event, should officers be allowed to recover before being interviewed? In 2014, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute, sat down with Force Science News1 to explain why he recommends a 48-hour minimum recovery period: “This is the general conclusion from some 20 years of scientific research on sleep...
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New Study Tracks Officers’ Response to Stress During Calls for Service

It is widely understood that the body can automatically prepare us to respond to threats.  Not just actual threats, but those that are perceived or merely expected.  Ideally, when this process is engaged, the nervous system is activated and we benefit from heightened senses, faster decision-making, improved mental function, and increased strength. But when this...
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Memory And The Question Of Deception: Recommended Reading

Gaps, inconsistencies, and errors in officers’ accounts of high-stress events may look like evidence of lies and deception. But a recent blog posting by an Advanced Force Science Specialist explains why leaping to that conclusion is likely to be wrong. The article, “Imperfect Recall: How Memory Impacts Police Use of Force Investigations” by Jason Helfer,...
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Study Of Cops’ Stress Reactions To Deadly Simulator Scenarios

Based on findings from a new stress study, a research team is recommending, among other things, that investigators of officer-involved shootings should be trained with deadly force simulator scenarios. “That experience would help investigators better understand the human factors that can come into play when officers face a life-threatening situation,” the lead researcher, Dr. Darrell...
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Force Science Featured In Ground-Breaking Leadership Academy

For the first time, Force Science findings have been framed specifically in a leadership context so supervisors and command staff can better understand what officers experience during and after major use-of-force confrontations. A new, 4-week, cutting-edge Leadership and Career Development Academy launched this year by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. recently hosted a day-long presentation...
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Can You Sharpen Your Observation Skills By Studying Great Art?

Can cops improve their on-job performance by visiting an art museum? Amy Herman, an art historian and lawyer, thinks so and her experiences with LEOs in New York City seem to prove it. As part of a 3-hour course for law enforcement she teaches called “The Art of Perception,” Herman leads officers from NYPD and...
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Stress & Memory: Important New Findings From FSRC Research

Final analysis of data gathered by the Force Science Research Center during a simulated shooting experiment has revealed important new findings about officers’ perceptions and recall that could bear significantly on OIS investigations. Among other things, the testing showed that: Officers tended to recount vastly more information about what happened when interviewed by investigators than...
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Cell Phone Studies Shed Light on How Officers’ Memories Work in Shootings

Are there similarities between a driver on a cell phone and an officer in a shooting? You bet! claims Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. And 2 independent studies offer fresh insights into the parallels, which may help officers defend themselves in controversial force encounters. Lewinski...
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