Are you and your agency ready for the firestorm from a controversial use of force? Law Enforcement's newest certification course prepares you to uncover the truth when lawsuits, careers and reputations are on the line.
Through the groundbreaking work of Dr. Bill Lewinski and a team of other world-renowned experts on human dynamics, you’ll learn:
• How to analyze vital elements of controversial uses of force that are often overlooked.
• Skills to help determine whether an officer is being honest when he swears his recollection of an incident is
true…even though his account directly conflicts with forensic evidence.
• Techniques for helping officers accurately & thoroughly recall details of force encounters.
• Why a site visit and/or video review may or may not be advisable before a statement.
• Whether shots to the back really reflect what an officer saw when he pulled the trigger.
• How to avoid critical mistakes some investigators make during post-incident interviews.
• The truth about time: How long it really takes officers to start—and stop—shooting.
• What ready position is really best for reducing lag time…and much more!
Attendees who successfully complete the program will be certified in "Force Science Analysis." This designation attests that the holder has been trained to recognize and articulate important psychological, biological, and physiological factors that can influence human behavior and memory in force encounters and pursuit situations.
The training will be based on solidly documented findings about human dynamics by the Institute’s Force Science Research Center and other world-acclaimed research sources that are commonly misunderstood or ignored in law enforcement investigations, according to Dr. Bill Lewinski, coordinator of the new program and executive director of the Force Science Institute.
"There's a tremendous need for the application of human science in force investigations," he says. "Without it, controversial officer-involved shootings and other uses of force--even pursuits, which also involve split-second decision-making in highly stressful, rapidly evolving circumstances--can easily be misjudged, with devastating consequences."
"In some cases, officers have gone to prison and agencies have suffered crushing losses in civil suits because the factors in how humans perform under stress were not properly assessed by uninformed investigators."
"Like persons trained in accident reconstruction, blood-spatter analysis, and other science-based disciplines, investigators certified in Force Science Analysis will be able to apply their grasp of human dynamics to interpret how and why a force confrontation evolved as it did," Lewinski said. They will also know how to "best mine the memories of those involved for relevant recollections." This information can be vital to authorities who ultimately must judge the encounter, such as administrators, I.A. chiefs, review board members, prosecutors, judges, and jurors.
Among other things, the backgrounds of the eight instructors will include world-class expertise in:
• how the brain and body work together to form psychomotor skills;
• the latest cognitive interviewing techniques for law enforcement;
• officer and suspect behaviors in deadly assaults on LEOs;
• motor performance, visual attention, and memory;
• how stress and trauma affect memory;
• the effect of low-light levels on perception;
• contextual cues;
• the dynamics of action and reaction in force encounters;
• decision-making variables during pursuits;
• judgment and psycho-physiological responses under extreme stress.
Most of the faculty members hold doctoral degrees in psychology, medicine, and law. Some have authored leading textbooks in their fields. A few have worked closely with law enforcement and/or the military in the past, but "some will be adapting their findings on human behavior to a law enforcement context for the first time," Lewinski said.
As course coordinator, as well as a presenter, it will be his job to assure that "all information is conveyed in terms that are understandable and have practical application for the attendees seeking certification." Question-and-answer opportunities will supplement the formal instruction.
The format will shape up like this:
Days 1-4: Expert Presentations & Case Evaluations
The first 3 days of the course will consist of sessions in which the instructors will identify and explain in detail certain physical and psychological phenomena associated with human behavior and demonstrate how these can impact performance under stress.
"These are things like 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," Lewinski said. "They also 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."
What the students will come to understand during these 3 days, Lewinski said, is "a 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 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."
On the first day, trainees will be split into work groups of 3-5 each. Drawing on vast files of cases Lewinski has been involved in, each group will be assigned a real-life incident to "investigate." Most will be officer-involved shootings, but at least one will concern a lesser use of force and one a pursuit. The students will have photos, videos, reports, and other evidence from the actual case to work with and will gather together at the end of each day to discuss their incidents and work on the final presentations that will be conducted by each group on the last day.
Through role-play questioning back and forth with Lewinski and faculty members, the trainees will gather information and develop an investigation, with whatever emphasis is appropriate on the human performance factors they've been schooled in.
"This will be a highly interactive experience and will allow the trainees to make practical applications of what they've learned, just as they would in a real investigative setting," Lewinski said. "They will need to be open-minded and unbiased in their approach."
Day 5: Trainee Presentations
Each group will present the results of its investigation to the full class and faculty. "They'll explain what they did, why, and how human factors fit into their investigation, along with other evidence," Lewinski said. "The point will not be to advocate, but to inform a decision-maker of the dynamic elements that need to be understood and considered."
The day will conclude with a written examination.
"Overall, the course is intended to expand an investigator's concept of forensic evidence to include biomechanical and cognitive elements and to strengthen his or her analytical skills and articulation ability," Lewinski said. "In short, you will understand how human beings perform in force situations and the implications this has for your investigations."
The certification is appropriate for force investigators, their supervisors, and use-of-force trainers. SEATING IS LIMITED.
$1,500 per student for the
full 5-day program