fbpx

Top Award To FSI Researcher For New Vest Study Presentation

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Three researchers with Force Science credentials presented new study results at the recent annual conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology in Austin, TX.

One, Dr. John O’Neill, a behavioral scientist on the staff of the Force Science Institute, was cited with special recognition. After reviewing all the conference’s presentations, 64 in total, a judging committee bestowed on O’Neill the prestigious Shaffer Award for Best Research Presentation. The honor is named for the late Dr. Charles Edward Shaffer, a founder of the Society known for his unwavering “commitment to solid research.”

The Society, with international professional membership, is devoted to drawing on scientific knowledge about “the full range of human behaviors” to create “practical solutions” to problems in law enforcement, corrections, and the criminal justice system, according to its mission description.

VEST FINDINGS

O’Neill’s presentation focused on some surprising findings from a new Force Science study he led regarding public perceptions of ballistic vests.

As we all know, some of the complaints of vocal activists and the media after the Ferguson riots and other OIS-related disturbances have centered on the alleged “militarization” of law enforcement, including police clothing and equipment.

In brief, O’Neill’s team took one item of police gear that’s often highly visible in public confrontations—external ballistic vests—and surveyed samplings of civilians as to their perceptions. These included their impressions of how various vest models and their attachments affected officers’ approachability, “militarized appearance,” intimidation, confidence, and other qualities, as well as the “confidence instilled in the public.” Also the participants were asked to rank the relative importance of these various attributes.

“Obviously, public interaction is a large portion of the job for police officers,” O’Neill explains. “And how the public perceives officers, including LEO appearance, has an influence on every interaction.”

The six vest models assessed ranged in appearance and utility from one “designed to look like a dress shirt with buttons down the center and pockets in the chest area with no attachments” to a “complex” version that featured five attachments: “a radio, taser, handcuffs, magazine pouches, and a body-worn camera.”

REACTIONS

“Vests with more external attachments were rated as more militarized and intimidating,” the researchers found. Probably no surprise there.

However: “Participants rated militarized appearance and intimidation as the least important attributes when considering external ballistic vests,” O’Neill reports. What the civilians said mattered most was the confidence that a vest instills in the officer wearing it, “followed closely by how confidence-inspiring the vest is to the public.

“While more complex vests (3-5 attachments) were rated as more militarized and intimidating and less approachable, [they] were also rated as more organized, professional, recognizable as law enforcement, and as inspiring more confidence in the officer and public”—all positive attributes.

“Given these findings,” O’Neill concludes, “it is possible that the public may prefer officers to perform duties while wearing more tactical-styled vests with outer carriers than vests that appear similar to an officer’s buttoned-up shirt or vests that are not equipped with attachments…. [M]ilitarized and intimidating appearance might not detract from the public’s overall acceptance….”

He suggests that “educating the public on the function” of external vests “might decrease” whatever negative perceptions do exist and “help the public feel safer, more connected, and trusting of their local law enforcement personnel.”

O’Neill told Force Science News that he anticipates publishing a detailed report of the study in a peer-reviewed professional journal later this year. He can be reached at: john.oneill@forcescience.org.

UDs & ExDS

Also featured at the Society conference were two other researchers with Force Science affiliations.

Staff behavioral scientist Dr. Dawn O’Neill presented a study she headed regarding unintentional firearms discharges, which we reported on preliminarily last August [see article here]. Among other things, her findings pinpointed where and when officers are at highest risk of experiencing UDs and what precautions seem most likely to prevent them.

Simon Baldwin, a use-of-force analyst with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police national headquarters, described findings from research he led into Risk Factors of Excited Delirium Syndrome in Non-Fatal Use-of-Force Encounters.

Baldwin, a PhD candidate in psychology at Carleton University, is among the small, hand-picked cadre of basic Force Science graduates to earn advanced-specialist certification in Force Science Analysis. The research team for his ExDS study included Force Science faculty members Dr. Christine Hall and Chris Lawrence.

COMING UP

The next annual conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology is scheduled for next Sept. 13-16 in San Diego. More information is available at the group’s website: www.policepsychology.org

Meanwhile, Dr. John O’Neill and Dr. Dawn O’Neill will be appearing on the program at the annual convention of the Assn. for Behavior Analysis International, May 25-29 in Denver. They are expected to disclose significant findings from a major Force Science investigation currently underway, regarding law enforcement training practices and motor skills retention. Executive Director Dr. Bill Lewinski is heading that research.

Leave a Reply

GDPR

  • Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Effective date: January 06, 2019

Force Science Institute, Ltd. (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://www.forcescience.org/ website (hereinafter referred to as the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data. Our Privacy Policy for Force Science Institute, Ltd. is based on the Privacy Policy Template from Privacy Policies.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from https://www.forcescience.org/

Information Collection And Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address
  • First name and last name
  • Phone number
  • Address, State, Province, ZIP/Postal code, City
  • Cookies and Usage Data

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and hold certain information.

Cookies are files with small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Tracking technologies also used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service. You can learn more how to manage cookies in the Browser Cookies Guide.

Examples of Cookies we use:

  • Session Cookies. We use Session Cookies to operate our Service.
  • Preference Cookies. We use Preference Cookies to remember your preferences and various settings.
  • Security Cookies. We use Security Cookies for security purposes.

Use of Data

Force Science Institute, Ltd. uses the collected data for various purposes:

  • To provide and maintain the Service
  • To notify you about changes to our Service
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features of our Service when you choose to do so
  • To provide customer care and support
  • To provide analysis or valuable information so that we can improve the Service
  • To monitor the usage of the Service
  • To detect, prevent and address technical issues

Transfer Of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Force Science Institute, Ltd. will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure Of Data

Legal Requirements

Force Science Institute, Ltd. may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • To comply with a legal obligation
  • To protect and defend the rights or property of Force Science Institute, Ltd.
  • To prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • To protect the personal safety of users of the Service or the public
  • To protect against legal liability

Security Of Data

The security of your data is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service.

  • Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page: https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en

Links To Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

  • By email: support@forcescience.org
  • By visiting this page on our website: https://www.forcescience.org/contact
  • By phone number: 866-683-1944
  • By mail: Force Science Institute, Ltd.