The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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    Police Use of Force: Foresight Over Hindsight

    | July 30, 2019

    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.


    Mike Hughes joined Texas Public Policy Foundation in June 2016. He works as Senior Researcher in the Center for Effective Justice & Right on Crime. His focus is primarily on policing matters. Prior to joining the foundation, Mike worked as a training coordinator at Tarrant County College’s Criminal Justice Training Center in Fort Worth, Texas, assigned to train new police recruits.

    Mike’s professional career began with the United States Air Force in 1984, where he served with security forces safeguarding military assets. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. 

    Mike began a civilian police career in 1988, working in both patrol and criminal investigations divisions over the years. In 2010, he retired as a captain with the Saginaw (Texas) Police Department, then served briefly as police chief in Wasilla, Alaska. 

    As a police officer, Mike earned a Master Peace Officer certificate through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He graduated from the Leadership Command College and the Command Staff Leadership Series through the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. Mike also has the distinction of graduating with the 220th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has broad experience in police topics and has attended hundreds of hours of professional training.  In 2015, he earned certification as an analyst through the prestigious Force Science Institute.

    In 2003, Mike earned a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.

    Mike has since taught criminal justice classes as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Christian University, Tarrant County College, and Columbia College, all located in Fort Worth, Texas. 

    As a police trainer Mike also teaches in the areas of search and seizure, crime scene investigation, use of force, defensive tactics, management and supervision, among others.