Force Encounters Course

Investigation Fundamentals, Decision-Making,
and Human Performance

Gain an Understanding of the Critical Human Performance Factors During Use of Force Incidents.

Expert Instructor
Training Hours
Tuition Fee

Course Overview

The Force Encounters Course introduces the psychological and physiological factors that affect threat assessment, sensory perception, decision, performance, and memory and applies these evidence-based concepts to high-stress and life-threatening encounters in a law enforcement context.

The curriculum for this program is based on Force Science’s peer reviewed research that uses precise time-and-motion measurements to document environmental, physiological, and psychological dynamics during high-threat events. Real-world examples are used to facilitate discussion and demonstrate the ways physiological and technological factors affect the answers to critical use-of-force questions. 

The course materials are delivered in class by lectures, group discussions, video presentations, and case studies.

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

  • How attention, decision-making, and response dynamics influence reaction time.
  • How adrenaline, attention, and trigger speed affect shooting performance.
  • How video recordings' capabilities and limitations may affect viewer perception of events.
  • How popular firearm tactics can increase the risk of armed encounters.
  • How critical incidents can affect memory.
  • How the speed of assault influences de-escalation strategies and tactics.
  • How the speed of assault, prone threats, attention, and exhaustion can affect traffic stops and investigative approaches.
  • How the aforementioned factors can affect the memory and performance of all participants in a critical incident.

Tuition Fee

This course is currently available in person only. An online option will be made available later this year!

In-Person Learning

Classroom-based Environment

  • 2 Days In-Class
  • 1 Expert Instructor
  • Course Presentation Slide Deck Provided
  • Q/A with Instructor
  • Group Discussions

Course Structure

The course materials are delivered through a series of learning sessions, including lectures, group discussions, video presentations, and case studies. An expert instructor will help learners identify and understand physical and psychological phenomena associated with human behavior and demonstrate how these can impact performance under stress.  Some of the main learning topics include:

  • Human Factors & Threat Analysis
  • Understanding the Limits of Human Perception Under Stress
  • Performance Errors and Unintentional Discharges
  • Officer Decision Making
  • Applied Analysis to Office Involved Shootings

Course Requirement

A participant’s ability to earn the certificate of completion for this course is dependent on their ability to perform satisfactorily the following:

  • Full attendance each day.
  • Daily participation in interactive group discussion exercises.
  • Complete online pre-test (provided a week before the course).
  • Complete online post-test (available after in-person course is completed).

Course Goal

At the end of the course, learners will understand the critical factors involved in use-of-force decisions and their performance in such situations. Participants will be able to incorporate the psychological and physiological concepts they learn into training programs that can enhance departmental and individual officer performance, encourage accountability and inform community oversight. The concepts taught in the course support commitment to procedurally just investigations, employing realistic, thorough, and evidence-based analysis.

Expert Instructors

The instructional team for the Force Encounters Course is comprised of both on-staff and external partnering experts who have been extensively trained on the research and materials provided throughout this course.

CLEE or POST Approval

The Force Encounters: Investigation Fundamentals, Decision-Making, and Human Performance course is certified for 16 hours of Continued Law Enforcement Education (CLEE) credits through the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) for their National Certification Program (NCP) review for POST accreditation.

IADLEST NCP accreditation is currently accepted in 36 states. The presence of NCP endorsement on a course demonstrates that the materials have been approved by an approval body specifically aiming to raise the quality standards of ongoing law enforcement officer training throughout the country. Therefore, departmental leaders can be confident in arranging such classes for their officers.