We are only as good as our programming and as such default to what we have practiced on a regular basis. Although agencies provide at minimum basic training in the hard skills (i.e., firearms, defensive tactics), the format of these trainings does not always mirror the real life situations officers face on the street. As such, many times under stressful conditions officers do not respond in the way the agency desires, which leads to injury, liability and/or damaged public perception. If we expect officers to be proficient in their responses to incidents, we must train under those same conditions. This means we must utilize scenario based training (SBT) with real life dynamics to ensure that the same responses will happen in the field. Additionally, integration of the soft skills (e.g., conflict resolution, de-escalation, communication, decision making and leadership) into these scenarios is critical for officer success. Since all calls are dynamic in nature and require a variety of response options officers must be trained from an integrated framework. This course will explore the limitations of traditional training, describe how to create an integrated, scenario-based system and lay out the specific benefits (i.e., more well-rounded officers, improved response to stressful events, reduced liability, enhanced public perception) of utilizing this approach.
Lt. David Pearson, Fort Collins, Colorado Police Services
Sgt. Paul Wood, Fort Collins, Colorado Police Services