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Force Science Certification

5-Day Training Course

Overview

Participants in the Force Science Institute’s intensive five-day certification program uncover the unbiased truth and scientific realities surrounding officer performance under stress, action/reaction time, memory, decision-making and more aspects of complex, rapidly unfolding encounters.

By taking part in this on-site course, you learn how to accomplish the following:

  • Develop an understanding of officer performance.
  • Revolutionize your department's police officer training programs.
  • Support community and media relations efforts.
  • Enhance investigations.
  • Inform departmental policy decisions.
  • Improve post-event interview procedures.
  • Evaluate your agency's tactics and force options.

Quick Breakdown

  • On-site Classroom Training
  • Course Duration: 5 Days
  • Delivery: 9 Expert Instructors
  • Tuition: $1,650
  • Graduates are certified as Force Sciences Analysts

Force Science Certification

What does it mean to officially be a Force Science Analyst? Individuals who successfully complete the five-day program receive this certification, which attests that the holder has been trained to recognize and articulate important psychological, biological and physiological factors that can affect behavior and memory in force encounters and pursuit situations.

Force science is a science-based area of focus, like accident reconstruction or blood-spatter analysis. Investigators who have been certified in Force Science Analysis will have a grasp of human dynamics they can apply to determine how and why a force confrontation proceeded and evolved as it did. Students also know how to extract relevant recollections from participants’ and witnesses’ memories. The information produced by these analysts can be vital to administrators, internal affairs personnel, chiefs, review board members, prosecutors, judges and jurors – all the individuals who must judge the nature of the encounter.

Course Description

Encounters involving the use of lethal force are often very brief and violent. A peace officer needs to give his or her utmost in response, perception, decision-making and performance to protect him or herself as well as enforce public safety. Judgments passed on actions in these situations, whether in administrators’ offices, courts, media coverage or among the public are often made long after the fact and without a foundation in the science of human behavior or performance under stress.

The Force Science Institute’s certification program uses the combined knowledge of a team of world-class experts to explore the complex mix of human dynamics involved in the often complicated, confusing and controversial uses of force by law enforcement personnel.

The primary objective of the five-day course is to prepare law enforcement professionals to understand human factor dynamics more thoroughly and completely while investigating cases involving the use of force. This preparation allows graduates to draw clear, accurate and concise conclusions. Participants will learn to promote peak performance in pressure situations and learn what actually occurs in tense and emotionally charged use-of-force events.

Enrollees will receive a window into the latest research on:

  • Skill acquisition.
  • Timing of interviews.
  • Decision-making.
  • Safety threats associated with prone subjects.
  • Traffic stop attacks.
  • Timing and dynamics of attack initiation.
  • How exhaustion impacts officer performance in force encounters.

The course will use this research and input from a group of experts to teach the following concepts and more:

  • Why individuals may recall facts they believe to be the truth when their accounts conflict with forensic evidence.
  • The advisability of making site visits or video reviews before a video statement is recorded.
  • What sleep and memory research says about timing interviews after significant events.
  • What stress-induced visual and auditory anomalies are, and how to deal with them during interviews.
  • Successful interview techniques for an accurate and thorough recollection of details in force encounters.
  • Whether shots to the back really reflect what shooters saw when they fired.
  • How to avoid critical mistakes during post-incident interviews.
  • The facts about use of force decisions: How long it takes to start and stop actions.
  • How to enhance decision-making through police officer training.

The certification program also imparts the latest unique and scientifically based insights on hot law enforcement topics such as:

  • De-Escalation of potentially violent situations.
  • The deployment of officer body cameras.
  • Using vehicles as "mobile weapons of mass destruction.”

Expert Instructors from Diverse Areas of Expertise

The Force Science Certification Course curriculum has been assembled by a team of experts to give participants a window into the latest science on performance and behavior. This group has been brought together to deepen scientific research into the circumstances of force encounters and the psychological and physiological factors that affect them. In addition to leading courses, the experts provide data, resources and tools to professionals brought in to investigate OIS and other use of force situations.

Dr. Lewinski’s groundbreaking work is the foundation for the Force Science Certification Course, and the group responsible for its content comprises:

FAQ

What is the daily instruction like?

Topics will include reaction times, perceptual distortions, narrowed vision, language limitations, and memory gaps–factors that investigators need to be aware of and fully understand, especially in controversial or puzzling cases. Students will also learn the need to be able to articulate in reports and testimony how these factors may have influenced an event, to give as complete a picture as possible of what happened. And they need to understand how the traumatized brain functions so they can adapt their interviewing techniques to recover a maximum amount of valid material from the participants.

Students will come away with an enhanced understanding of the protocol for investigating and interviewing that will best assure a fair, balanced, impartial, and comprehensive explanation of the encounter in question.

It is not an investigator’s job to determine if an officer’s behavior, let’s say, was right or wrong in a use of force situation. But it is the investigator’s job to clearly and objectively present all the potentially relevant facts to the person or person(s) responsible for that decision. Without this training, it is highly likely that pivotal truths related to human performance will be misinterpreted or missed entirely in high-profile cases where the stakes are life-changing.

Is group participation expected?

An important part of the Force Science Certification process is interactive participation with students. At registration, class participants will receive a large course binder that in addition to materials related to each block of instruction, will include detailed evidentiary information related to an actual officer-involved shooting case students will “investigate.”

Each night immediately following class, an instructor will  facilitate an intensive group discussion exercise in the classroom with the entire student body centered on applying the information taught each day to that case.  Compelling questions will be posed related to the case in a Socratic, “guided discovery” fashion designed to help students tap into their newly acquired knowledge and apply it in a practical, real-world fashion likely to be mirrored in their own professional activities. This exercise will also allow the instructor to further elaborate on a number of the topics covered that day in class.

The class is designed to be a highly interactive experience to allow students to make practical applications of what they’ve learned, just as they would in a real investigative setting.

Will I need to take an exam?

A closed book written test will be distributed on the afternoon of the fourth day. This test consists of a compilation of questions, generated by each instructor, that are designed to confirm your level of understanding and retention of the information presented throughout the week.

Recent Testimonials

The Force Science Certification Course was one of the best training programs I have attended in my 41-year career. A relative is an Assistant State’s Attorney, and I have recommended that she also attend ASAP!

Des Plaines, IL Police
Chief Bill Kushner
Des Plaines, IL Police Department

The information taught at the Force Science Certification Course is vital to educating investigators, judicial officers and ultimately, through the involve­ment of educated law enforcement personnel, the general public as well, to the complex human dynamics and science involved in officer-involved shoot­ings and other force events.

Georgia State Patrol
Captain Derick Durden
Georgia State Patrol

I highly recommend this course to anyone who deals with OIS’s and other uses of force, including Chiefs, Sheriffs & DAs. Knowing that this quality of research and scientific understanding of human behavior is out there is a must! This class is as important – if not more important -than the FBI National Academy and Northwestern’s Leadership course!

Walworth County Sheriff Office
Deputy John Czerwinski
Walworth County Sheriff’s Office