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Police Use of Force: Foresight Over Hindsight

The use of force by police creates some of the widest chasms between officers and citizens. Training must build confidence and offer realistic scenarios. This approach sets up appropriate responses to actual circumstances.

Key points:

  • Adopt and inculcate the Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics training model proposed by the Police Executive Research Forum.
  • Invest in training that builds confidence and competency such as the Arlington Police Department model. Ground skills (grappling, for example) build both.
  • Require officer candidates and incumbents to demonstrate a level of physical fitness commensurate with the job.
  • Provide officers with scenario-based training. This training should reflect both “aggressive” scenarios and common duties and conflicts likely seen on the street.
  • Recruit officers with traits toward service, critical thinking ability, problem-solving ability, and interpersonal skills.
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