Force Science News #203:

Important new survey: What's your experience with controlling bleeding

in the field...and more

What training have you received for controlling hemorrhaging from wounds to yourself or fellow officers?


What equipment do you carry for such a challenge?


What field experiences have you had where controlling blood loss was critical before the arrival of EMS?


These are among some 40 questions posed in a new online, confidential survey that aims ultimately to save officer lives by better understanding the methods and need for bleeding control in law enforcement circumstances.




All questions are easy to answer and participation is anonymous.


“The responses we get will help determine the simplest means, the most effective equipment, and the least perishable training for stopping life-threatening bleeding under conditions of active threat,” says Dr. Matt Sztajnkrycer, a Force Science instructor, Minnesota SWAT doc, and Mayo Clinic researcher. Sztajnkrycer and Det. John Landry of the Hillsboro Beach (FL) PD, a newly minted PhD, designed the first-of-its-kind canvas and will be analyzing its results.


Among areas explored are:


• Your training in and use of hemostatic agents (chemical products designed to stop bleeding)


• Your access to and use of commercially produced one-handed tourniquets


• Your familiarity and experience with pressure dressings


• Your knowledge of real-world incidents where such medical aids played a role or could have been used had they been available.


• Your assessment of certain hypothetical blood-loss scenarios and your impression of what responses might be best by officers on the scene.


“In most cases, the survey will take only about 5 to 10 minutes to complete,” Sztajnkrycer estimates. “You can answer as many of the questions as you wish.


“With broad enough participation, we hope to be able to figure out the extent to which bleeding is a problem in law enforcement, the relevant training that’s currently provided, and how cops are thinking about managing that kind of emergency in the field. And that should lead to improvements where necessary.”


As always, Force Science News will follow this project closely and will report further when appropriate. Meanwhile, if you have questions, Sztajnkrycer can be reached at:




II. Wanted: Policies requiring expert review of use-of-force videos


The following request for assistance has been received by the Force Science Institute. Can you help?


Are there any agencies that have a procedure or protocol in place that requires video of an officer’s use of force to be analyzed by subject-matter experts before being presented to disciplinary authorities?


If so, please contact:


Lt. Steve Hansen


Certified Force Science Analyst


Kern County (CA) SO


(661) 201-6329




III. Clearing our in-box…


[Please note that comments and observations shared by our readers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FSI or the readers’ agencies.]


In reacting to recent Force Science News transmissions, our readers have added some stimulating observations to our reports on law enforcement issues. Here’s a selective sampling from our in-box, edited for clarity and brevity.


Call ’em back for greater safety


Regarding the new Force Science research on sudden attacks during vehicle stops [FSN Transmission #202, 4/14/12]:


Why are we walking up to drivers who are an unknown threat and expecting no harm? Scores of dash-cam videos of officers getting shot in the face leads to this observation: Don’t do business where the detained person has an advantage! We don’t stand in doorways of buildings due to the “fatal funnel,” so why do we do it at car doors where an officer has no cover, no distance (thus little or no reaction time), limited visibility of the driver, and very few options to respond to a fatal threat—violations of nearly every officer safety rule in the book?


I use the call-back tactic on nearly every stop, simply inviting the driver to meet me at the sidewalk. This allows an officer greater time, distance, and available cover (the patrol vehicle) to respond to threat stimulus. It also allows an officer to make observations that are not available when a driver sits in a car. You can size up the suspect, perform a visual search for weapons, and assess his cooperation and demeanor.


Courts across the land have ruled officers may order a driver out of a car because vehicle stops are inherently dangerous. Yes, there will be some occurrences where the driver will not come out. This is a warning to call for additional officers and handle accordingly.


Ofcr. Robert Dale


San Jose (CA) PD


“I can shoot you every time you approach”


Our agency always calls people back on traffic stops. The violator is then asked to stand at the front of the hood (on camera) during the remainder of the stop, away from the “home base” of his/her car. There is no approach, and you can see the violator’s hands from the “cover” of your vehicle. Backup deputies can look in his car, contact the passengers, etc.


I have trained this method for 20 years in the academy and can tell you that if you give me a Sim gun I can shoot you every time you approach while I’m in my car, role-playing a suspect. If I am called back, I have little opportunity to ambush. Not to mention the obvious advantages in DUI detection.


Lt. Kevin Oberlin


Alachua County (FL) SO


Danger in 1-play planning


Most of the time we don’t need to approach the suspect’s vehicle at all. We can ask him/her to exit vehicle and walk back to us. If the suspect has a plan to attack the officer at his window, this completely makes him re-evaluate and alter his game plan. We also advocate right-side approaches. If we only have 1 play in our playbook (driver-side approach), then how hard is it for a suspect to defeat our play?


Ofcr. Ed Mathews


Lead traffic stop instructor


Akron (OH) PD


Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute, responds:


As we continue to observe a variety of tactics for handling vehicle stops and we further evaluate disengagement techniques, including those that are consciously executed and those that are spontaneous and untrained, it’s important to remember that although solid arguments can be put forth in favor of one stop tactic or another, there is no fail-safe method for fully eliminating risk. This is clearly illustrated in records indicating that officers have been killed during virtually every kind of stop scenario, including those involving call-backs, driver-side approaches and passenger-side approaches. The myriad risk variables officers face during traffic stops, including the number of occupants in the vehicle, the setting of the stop, the mind-set of the person(s) with which the officer will be having contact and ultimately, the speed at which an assault can be launched demand that every officer vigilantly follow core survival principles, including controlling both hands and resisting complacency. Dedication to these principles may well prove to be the best “tactic” for traffic stop survival.



Audio recordings are best after an OIS


Regarding whether officer interviews after an OIS should be recorded [FSN Transmission #199, 3/9/12 + reader letters 3/16/12]:


If you are interviewing an officer using the Cognitive Interview technique, you cannot be consumed with taking meticulous notes during the process. That is just bad interviewing. I believe audio-recording the officer’s statement is in his/her best interest. Transcribe the recording, have the officer review it for possible transcription errors, then submit it to the district attorney.


If during the interview the officer unexpectedly blurts out an incriminating statement, unfortunately it has to be included. Transparency is paramount. As an OIS investigator, I am dedicated to providing my officers with an investigation that is thorough, transparent, and as painless as possible.


With cooperation from our association board, the department, and the OIS investigators, we have departed from the “us against them” mentality that seems to still plague some agencies.


Homicide Det. Jeff Wentz


Certified Force Science Analyst


Ontario (CA) PD




In defense of Indiana’s new resistance-to-police law


Regarding the new Indiana law that allows citizens to physically resist police actions they believe to be illegal [FSN Transmission #200, 3/20/12]:


I am a blue-blooded, card-carrying retired cop, but I think we need to look at this new law calmly.


The basis of the law is an officer “unlawfully entering.” Ask yourself this question: What makes an officer committing an illegal act different from any other criminal? If you woke up one night to find a uniformed officer standing at the foot of your 13-year-old daughter’s bed, with no explanation for being there, do we not believe we have the right to throw him out? If it was a criminal in plainclothes would you even think twice about threatening the use of deadly force within your home if he responded with aggression? No one is above the law…no one.


It is unfortunate that uneducated citizens may misinterpret this law, but the basis for it has been in existence for over 200 years, through the 2nd Amendment, which protects us against government tyranny. I only hope that my brothers and sisters in blue will look to the spirit of this legislation and continue to perform their job admirably and professionally.


Sgt. Guy Rossi (ret.)


Certified Force Science Analyst


Rochester (NY) PD




More violence ahead


This stupid law is only going to increase the violence toward police officers, not only in Indiana but across the nation. Indiana cops will go to other states simply because they won’t want to fight every day with persons they arrest or put up with the lawsuits and IA complaints this law will create.


Sgt. Charles Anderson


State Center Community College District PD


Fresno, CA




Spreading the word


Officers need to see what is happening in other parts of our country regarding legislation that puts officers at risk. I request permission to post your report on the new Indiana law on our web site.


Jerry Williams, Executive Director


Montana Police Protective Assn.


Respectful discussion


Regarding the new Unleashing Respect project that hopes to change the law enforcement subculture [FSN Transmission #199, 3/9/12]:


A relevant and important story for employees of our Department! I would like to print copies to distribute during squad briefings to facilitate discussion.


Cmdr. Terry Young


Surprise (AZ) PD






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Written by Force Science Institute

May 5th, 2012 at 9:19 am

© 2017 Force Science Institute Ltd.