Force Science Newsletter

MADISON, WISCONSIN -- Over the last two years there have been six officer-involved shooting fatalities in Dane County. The high number is concerning to many, but most of all, the law enforcement agencies that were involved in these cases.

 

"This is a topic we have talked about a lot in my office. I would say most departments in the state are talking about this," Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says.

 

This concern motivated the Dane County Sheriff's Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice to bring in a world-renowned expert on the subject. Dr. Bill Lewinski is a behavioral scientist who specializes in law enforcement issues. He started a highly respected program called the Force Science Institute that teaches officers how to analyze and investigate incidents where force was used.

"We'll look at the investigation elements of pressure and how quickly officers have to make decisions under an evolving threat," Lewinski says.

 

"We'll also focus on how to interview an officer after an incident, in order to mine the officer's memory most effectively as well as the possible witnesses."

 

The Force Science Institute has been taught in several countries around the world. On Monday, the program made a stop in Madison College. Nearly a hundred investigators from 59 agencies will attend the five day event.

 

"It is a priority across the state, in law enforcement, that we're transparent in our investigations," Mahoney says. "We want to provide credibility and have a high level of integrity to the public when they see an investigation take place," Mahoney says.

 

The Dane County Sheriff's Office is sending eight investigators to the training. The Madison Police Department is sending a handful of investigators as well. Both agencies are still dealing with the emotional aftermath of three officer involved shootings this past May.