Posted on Dec. 27, 2017 by VirTra Inc

Use of Force Training

Every day when an officer goes to work, he or she hopes for a calm, peaceful day. Unfortunately, in today’s world, violence is everywhere, and officers must be able to make on-the-fly decisions to keep themselves and the general public safe. Judgmental use of force training is a great way to prepare officers for a variety of events, allowing them to make better, faster decisions when it truly counts.

Force Is Not Always Required

Today’s media tends to focus on the negative aspects of an officer’s job, and this influences not only the general public, but the officers themselves. Law enforcement training specific to judgmental use of force does much more than simply teach officers how to fire their weapons like firearm training simulators do; it also trains officers to talk to people, observe their surroundings, and tailor their reactions appropriately. In many cases, situations can be resolved without the use of force, but officers must be trained to recognize when that force is justified and necessary.

Making the Right Choice

Judgmental use of force video training can often be quite simple. For example, at Winona State University, those interested in the criminal justice field participate in simulations as part of their education. Individuals watch a video projected on a screen, and it is up to that individual to interact with the scene appropriately. These individuals may have three tools from which to choose. For example, they may have access to an Axon® TASER®, a rifle, or pepper spray. The individual must assess the situation, choose the appropriate tool, and the act accordingly in the simulation. Afterward, the individual receives a debriefing that explains whether his or her choice was effective.

More than Just Weapons

Whereas officers on the firing range or using firearm training simulators are merely learning to fire their weapons and become comfortable with them, judgmental use of force video training takes things a few steps further. It’s less about how to utilize a weapon and more about how to interact with people to de-escalate the situation peacefully. It starts with language, keen observation, and the ability to determine what a subject might do next. When officers can learn these things and practice them regularly, they can better judge when they must use force and when they can de-escalate the situation using other means.

Training for Changing Environments

One of the best aspects of judgmental use of force training videos is the ability to train officers to react to situations that seem to change in an instant. For example, one moment, it may seem as if the officer is making progress with a subject simply by talking him or her down. The next, that subject may pull a gun and aim it at the officer. It’s situations like this that can often backfire on officers and result in injuries or deaths. Judgmental use of force videos can help officers learn to react to situations like these, which can save many lives, in turn.

Judgmental use of force training videos are vital to any department’s training arsenal. They go above and beyond traditional training methods, like firearm training simulators, by teaching officers how to interact with people in various situations, and they even help officers make better decisions when situations take a turn for the worse.

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