Quantifying Stress in Police Training

by John Wills

We know the importance of training in police work as it relates to our survival. Anyone who is not familiar with the axiom, The way you train, is the way you fight, has probably been hiding underneath a rock somewhere in the mountains. Stress influences the way we react to situations on the street. What we as trainers need to understand, and subsequently structure our courses to combat, is to somehow replicate that stress, and train our officers to win, in spite of the deleterious effects that stress has on our performance.

In 1998, Bruce Siddle conducted research involving officers in an identical training scenario with various stressors included. There are not many studies of this kind, since controlling all of the variables and quantifying results is an enormous task. Nevertheless, Siddle embarked on this ground breaking journey, and titled the work, Combat Human Factors: Triggering the Survival Circuit.

In the study, he discussed a great many things, to include how we shoot. He compared and contrasted Isosceles and One Hand Point shooting, as they relate to close quarter combat.

Continue reading…..

 

JOHN M. WILLS  / http://www.johnmwills.com/
 John is a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent. He writes both non-fiction and fiction in the form of novels, short stories, articles and poetry. John is an award-winning author who created The Chicago Warriors Thriller Series. He has published more than 125 articles in print and online (see his monthly article on officer.com) and is working on his sixth book.

 

Training Center Money; More Than One Color

When considering funding for a new public safety training facility there are at least TWO colors of money: money for construction and money for operations. Both are important, but many times the latter is the color overlooked or misunderstood.

Today I will discuss the latter. What will it cost to operate your training center on an annual basis? This is often difficult for departments to determine. For example, how many staff members or sub-contractors are needed to keep a training center operational and running efficiently? What are the estimated yearly expenses for necessities such as electricity, water, janitorial services, maintenance and other elements necessary for a smooth-running operation? Or more specifically, what are the true costs of fuel for the live-burn fire props or the cost to run the air ventilation system at the indoor shooting range?

Fire and Police Training Dollars

New Police and Fire Training Trends Emerge

Over the past couple of years I have seen several newly constructed training centers that were built with taxpayer approved bond initiatives or projects that received CIP approval prior to the 2008 economic downturn that are now facing great budget challenges for monthly and annual operations expenses. In these cases money for construction was the easy part. Now faced with budget cutbacks and layoffs, departments are faced with finding creative ways of maintaining training mandates and at the same time trying to pay the utility bills, and keep training equipment operational. We have helped training center managers re-think and modify their daily operational activities and policies. There is no one solution or “silver bullet” that can be applied to all training center sustainability challenges.  As with most things it comes down to hard work and commitment. Based on a national perspective, I see some key trends emerging. Coninue reading:

Some of the Best Training Public Safety Facilities

These facilities are not the newest or the most expensive, but they are all stand-outs for excellence in planning and execution. They are worth looking at and learning from before beginning your Training Center Business Plan to plan or build a police or fire new training center.

Click on the name of each school for their Benchmaked Report:

 
Luzerne County Community College, Public Safety Training Institute
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
 
Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy
Glenview, Illinois
 
Tarrant County College Public Safety Institute
Fort Worth, Texas
 
Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex
Ft. Pierce, Florida
 
Washoe County Regional Public Safety Training Center
Washoe County, Nevada
 
 

Law Enforcement and Fire Service Training Trends

In today’s fast-paced environment, traditional classroom learning does not fully meet the training needs of police officers and fireman in dispersed organizations. Just as the Web is a critical business component, eLearning is now a critical learning component for organizations. Fast, anytime access to engaging content that is tracked and recorded enables organizations to enhance training in employee skills and competencies. Contextual learning in a more informal setting is the wave of the future as younger tech-savvy personnel enter the workforce. With the cost of implementing e-learning tools falling, more governments, businesses, and schools have added online courses and other forms of distance learning to their organizations. As evidence, The Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services reported a total of 593,167 course completions in 2009-10.

There has been widespread research by academics, corporations and scientists on the effectiveness of e-learning. The overarching result of all the recent studies has been that pure online learning is as efficient as pure face-to-face learning and can be better in some cases where the student has no time limitation. It has also been found that classroom learning enhanced by some online learning is the best approach to education. A recent meta-analysis[2 the US Department of Education proved the above facts. In addition to being effective, it has also been proven in a Forrester Research study that e-learning earns organizations a positive ROI in less than a year.

The e-learning industry is expected to see a lot more changes in the next 5 years than what it has seen over the past decade, primarily because of the technological advancements. Mobile instruments (phones, tablets) are expected to become the platforms of choice. Learners will utilize content when they need it. Games and simulations will become an integral part of workplace learning. We will see the emergence of personalized learning systems. All these will lead to shift in the way we measure performance with an increased emphasis on cost efficiency.

Public Safety Must Find Better Ways To Train

With budget cuts and staff reductions departments must find better and more manageable ways of delivering training. Only a short few years ago I began to see private companies offering training programs as “slide presentations” (the paper kind). Then after a couple of years we saw the introduction of the Computer Based Training (CBT) that was software based. In reality most were the paper slides with a few pictures thrown in. Ho how far we have come!

The following link will lead you to a download link to a white paper based on an extensive study of Law Enforcement and Fire Service Training Trends.

“Public Safety Training Trends Courseware Assessment Paper”

Economic News and Its Impact on Public Safety

The economic news coming from cities and counties nationwide is abysmal. With the nation in a deep recession since 2007, some say even larger budget cuts are now reaching public safety agencies. It seems that only one year ago these daily headlines were unheard of: Budget Cuts Reach Public Safety, Fire Department Copes With Budget Cuts And Staff Shortages or Fire Department Cancels Recruit Academy. But today, these and similar headlines are common. Here in San Diego, Police Chief William Lansdowne is predicting a loss of more than 100 sworn officers. As reported in the USA Today, nearly 70% of police agencies have cut back or eliminated training programs this year as part of local government budget reductions (according to a survey this fall of 608 agencies by the Police Executive Research Forum).

Looking for Ways to Reduce Police and Fire Department Costs

Last month the Public Safety Training e-Newsletter featured an article from the Fresno Fire Department outlining their plan to replace sworn training staff with civilian instructors. Since the Fresno article was broadcast in mid-September many newsletter readers have told me similar stories regarding changes to their training departments. Simply doing more with less is the new mantra and it appears to have become the “new normal.”  I have spoken to major metropolitan agencies and small rural training departments — all are looking (most forced) to find more efficient ways to deliver training. Apparently even in hard times new visions and ideas can still emerge. Some of the ideas are really exciting and in some cases “out of the box,” such as: consolidation of multiple department training exercises, distance learning technologies, collaboration with community college programs, live podcast training classes, and merging of intra governmental department training classes.

Fusion Centers and A Bad Range Day

Two featured articles

1. Fusion Center Is a Model for Public-Private Collaboration
“See Something, Say Something “

2. “A Bad Day at the Range…”
“We all understand the shortage of training dollars in almost every aspect of Law Enforcement and we must ensure that we are not wasting the minimal resources that we have….”

DHS Guidance Released Preparedness Grants

Grant DollarsSecretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano released the fiscal year 2011 grant guidance and application kits for 12 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant programs totaling $2.1 billion to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies and the private sector in strengthening the nation’s ability to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. In fiscal 2011, DHS grants were reduced by $780 million from the fiscal 2010 enacted level, nearly one-quarter of fiscal 2010 DHS grant funding.

Continue to read…

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This article reprinted by permission of:
Emergency Management
http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/DHS-Guidance-Fiscal-2011-Preparedness-Grants.html
 

Thank you; Policeman, Firefighter, my good friends

As we move into the Christmas season, cards are starting to arrive in the mail, phone calls to family members are at full throttle (asking who is coming who is not) and, of course, comes the annual ritual of hanging the outdoor lights. As the pace quickens and holiday music fills the airwaves, please take a moment to visit these links: (1) The CBS Sunday Morning Show segment that featured Steven Koeser

and (2) the tribute to all volunteer firefighters and tragic death of San Diego Police Officer Christopher Wilson (my home town). I mention these two because they touched me in different ways — the smiling face of Firefighter Koeser’s four-year-old daughter, Lexus, trying so hard to understand and holding on to her Mom, and report of two homeless men who donated $20, their day’s collection money from “canning,” (lingo for collecting cans and bottles to recycle) to the Wilson family. Here are two links that everyone reading this newsletter should visit and visit often.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

It’s a bit early for New Year’s resolutions, but at the top of my list will be to say a “Thank you” to every policeman or fireman I come in contact with in 2011. I am not a fireman or policeman but have had the privilege to watch, listen and work alongside so many over the past twenty years. I have seen the unbelievably hard work they do and the valuable services (often unsung) they perform. We pick up maxims in life; one of mine is, “I could never be a fireman or policeman, I’m not brave enough.” It usually brings a smile or laugh — the reality is that it is so very true. So let me start my New Year today by saying, “Thank you, my good friends.”

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season,
Bill Booth

EVOC Pursuit Policy Training Workshops

In an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from vehicle pursuits, ALERT International and IADLEST are partnering to provide a FREE, comprehensive pursuit management and policy training program throughout the nation.  For those of you unfamiliar with the acronyms, ALERT is the Association of Professional Law Enforcement Emergency Response Trainers International (http://www.alertinternational.com/). IADLEST is the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (http://www.iadlest.org/).

EVOC Pursuit Training Workshop

Police Shooting Range Near Denver Airport

Interact Business Group has worked extensively on this project for the past three years. The Adams County Sheriff’sTraining Center will be used for law enforcement training only, no civilans. We wrote the business plan and feasibility study for the project. The news/facts in the article are dated. Many of the concerns from DIA have been addressed. Did you know that there are shooting ranges currently at SFO and SLC?