Webinar Note – Use of Force and ICAT: Integrating Communication, Assessment, andTactics

Webinar Focus (00:25)

  • Training module developed by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in dealing with the use of force for American police officers.
  • The different elements included in the Integrating Communication, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) training course.
  • Provide tools for police officers in handling various critical incidents.

 

Resource Speakers (01:46)

  • Tom Wilson

    • Director of PERF’s Center for Applied Research and Management.
    • Served for 24 years in the Maryland Police Department, retired as a major.

 

The Justice Clearinghouse (02:58)

  • Peer-to-peer educational program/resource for justice professionals
  • Year-round virtual conference on justice-related topics
  • Events are free-to-attend, with subscribers having 24/7 access to recorded webinars and eligible for certifications which may be used for continuing education credits.
  • Interactive webinars with quick polls, Q&A, and survey

 

PERF (05:48)

  • Who is PERF?

    • Membership organization
    • Founded in 1976 by 10 chiefs
    • Dedicated to questioning the conventional thinking in policing
    • Conducts research

      • Best practices and policies
      • Issues and challenges affecting large police agencies
      • Progressive practices and policies
    • PERF is governed by a Board of Directors and a Board-appointed Executive Director.

      • Member-elected President, Scott Thompson
      • Vice president, Tom Major
      • Staff of approximately 30 full-time
    • Based in Washington, D.C.
    • Research advisory board

      • Steers their thinking
      • Academic and research focus
  • Who are PERF members?

    • 3,000 members from different areas of the US, across different ranks
    • Commitment to PERF’s founding principles
    • Members need to have a 4-year degree
  • What does PERF do?

    • Research
    • Publications

      • Available for free
    • Management Services
    • Executive Searches
    • Senior Management Institute for Police
  • PERF Publications

    • Hiring for the 21st Century Law Enforcement Officer

      • Hiring practices (e.g. Tattoos)
    • Command Performance: A Career Guide for Police Executives

      • Preparing for a career as an Executive
    • Critical Issues in Policing Series: Advice from Police Chiefs and Community Leaders on Building Trust

 

Overview and History of the Use of Force Initiative and ICAT Training (10:25)

  • 2015 PERF Survey on Use of Force Training

    • Hours Spent on Use of Force Topics for Basic Recruit Training

      • Firearms                                   58 hours

        • Very important, utilizing and safety of firearms
      • Defensive Tactics                    49 hours

        • Policing is a contact sport
      • Con Law/Legal Issues             40 hours
      • UoF Scenario-Based Training  24 hours

        • Only 3 days out of the 3-6 months training
        • Not enough
      • Basic first aid                           16 hours
      • Communication skills              10 hours

        • Police officers interact with citizens up to 40 times a day
        • The top skill police officers should have
      • Use of Force Policy                  8 hours
      • De-escalation                         8 hours
      • Crisis Intervention                    8 hours
      • Baton                                      8 hours
      • ECW                                        8 hours
      • OC Spray                                6 hours
    • Traditional police training is done in silos

 

History of the Use of Force Initiative and ICAT Training (17:48)

  • April 2015: Initial Observations – UK/Scotland

    • UK and Scotland

      • Police Officers don’t have firearms
      • Their job is to make sure everyone goes home alive tonight

        • Versus US Law Enforcement “#1 job is to go home alive tonight”
      • Case study:

        • In a football game, an officer was called to the front gate to deal with an intoxicated individual.
        • Officer just let the individual vent and calm down, and not taking things personally.
        • Officer then advised that he still can’t let an intoxicated individual in the stadium, offered to walk him and get him a cab home.
        • In the US, the individual would have been arrested, too focused on the culture of speed.
      • Police Scotland recruit class has 40% female officers.
      • Police Scotland employs 30% female police officers.
  • May 2015: Re-engineering Training on Police Use of Force

    • Discussions produced a publication
  • November 2015: PERF Visit to Police Scotland

    • 25 Police Chiefs from different agencies
    • Discussions approached with an open mind
    • Scenario-based training
    • Houston’s SWAT team operates similarly to Police Scotland
  • December 2015: PERF Visit to NYPD Emergency Service Unit

    • Met with NYPD Emergency Service Unit

      • The biggest SWAT team across the US
      • 400 members
    • Emergency Services part of the patrol, on the field, on-call
    • Shared principles and practices which are similar to Police Scotland’s

      • Slow down
      • Use better tools
      • Diffuse situation
  • January 2016: PERF Visit to Police Service of Northern Ireland

    • Unlike the rest of UK, they are armed
  • The Washington Post Tally of 2015 Fatalities

    • Police shot and killed 986 people in 2015

      • Mental illness was a factor in approximately one-quarter of fatal officer-involved shootings.
      • 10% of shootings involved an unarmed subject.
      • 16% of subjects were armed with a knife.
      • In 5% of cases, the subject was using a vehicle as a weapon.
      • The US has a gun culture, apparent in the cases of Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.
  • January 29, 2016: Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard

    • Discussions resulted to the Guiding Principles on Use of Force publication
    • Hundreds of police chiefs from all over the US attended

 

Guiding Principles: Policy (31:12)

  • The sanctity of human life should be at the heart of everything an agency does.

    • Foremost principle
    • Job is to protect, serve and value human life
    • Going back to Columbine, the mindset has changed since
    • Value the life of civilians, officers, and even the suspect
    • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Policy

      • It is the policy of this department that officers hold the highest regard for the dignity and liberty of all persons, and place minimal reliance upon the use of force. The department respects the value of every human life and that the application of deadly force is a measure to be employed in the most extreme circumstances.”
  • Departments should adopt policies that hold themselves to a higher standard than the legal requirements of Graham v. Connor. Criminal/Administrative.

    • Accountability of actions
    • Officer Created Jeopardy (Baltimore City)

      • A situation where an officer deviated from established tactics or policies and his/her actions unnecessarily place them (and/or others) at greater risk of harm.

        • E.g. Officer stepping in front of fleeing vehicle and shooting puts him in danger of being run over
      • Are you in the best tactical position?
  • Examine department policy regarding shooting at cars when the car is the only threat.

    • Policies were adjusted to address when a vehicle being used to create mass casualty.
    • NYPD Policy (Implemented 1972)

      • “Do not discharge firearms at or from a moving vehicle, unless deadly physical force is being used against an officer or another person present, by means other than the moving vehicle.”
      • NYPD 2014 Annual Firearms Discharge Report Year-on-Year Report

        • Constantly growing lower since 1971
  • Police use of force must meet the test of proportionality.

    • The balance between what you're responding to and the way you're responding, and finding the best solution.
    • In assessing whether a response is proportional to the threat being faced, officers should consider the following (Florida)

      • Am I using only the level of force necessary to mitigate the threat and safely achieve a lawful objective?
      • Is there another, less injurious option available that will allow me to achieve the same objective as effectively and safely?
      • Will my actions be viewed as appropriate given the severity of the threat and totality of the circumstances?
  • Adopt de-escalation as formal agency policy

    • Seattle Police Department Policy

      • “When safe under the totality of the circumstances and time and circumstances permit, officers shall use de-escalation tactics in order to reduce the need for force.”
  • Duty to intervene: Officers need to prevent other officers from using excessive force.

    • Phoenix Police Department Policy

      • "All sworn employees will intervene if a reasonable opportunity exists, when they know or should know another employee is using unreasonable force."
  • Document use-of-force incidents, and review your data and enforcement practices to ensure that they are fair and non-discriminatory.

    • Communities expect information and detail
    • Report use of force and IA info to the public
    • Be transparent with their communities
  • Investigate all critical police incidents resulting in death or serious bodily injury with specially trained personnel.

    • Don’t let marksmanship stop you from conducting a good investigation
    • Even missed shots must be investigated, the intent is still to use force

 

Guiding Principles: Training and Tactics (46:07)

  • Implement a comprehensive agency training program on dealing with people with mental health problems.

    • Tactical training and mental health training need to be interwoven to improve response to critical incidents.
    • Police agencies to become social workers and emergency providers.
  • Culture of Speed

    • How to slow down
  • 21 foot rule / Distance + Cover = Time

    • Extending the distance from 21 foot
    • It is not a rule, it is about establishing and maintaining safe distance

      • “When I first came on we would always use the 21-foot rule. If they’re within 21 feet, they can be on top of you and stabbing you before you react to that. But now I think they’re trying to extend that distance out even further because I think there is documentation now that someone armed with a knife can literally run up on someone before you’re able to react to that, or already being stabbed.” ~ San Diego Officer Neal Browder, in a statement to investigators regarding his April 2015 officer-involved shooting
      • “He firmly believed he was in fear for his life and concerned about the life of his fellow officers. There is this 21-foot rule. It talks about how an individual is a significant threat to police officers when they’re in that 21-foot boundary.” ~ Dan Herbert, attorney representing Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke, discussingOfficer Van Dyke’s October 2014 officer-involved shooting
  • Line in the Sand

    • You walk with someone until the threat changes and harm would happen if you don’t act.
    • "How long are they supposed to walk along the sidewalk with the suspect? At some point, you have to draw a line in the sand." ~ Ralph Brown, California Peace Officers Standards and Training Spokesman on the December San Francisco police shooting
  • Scenario-based training should be prevalent, challenging, and realistic.
  • Use case study approach.
  • Agencies should consider new options for chemical spray.
  • Personal protection shields may support de-escalation efforts during critical incidents, including situations involving persons with knives, baseball bats, or other improvised weapons that are not firearms.
  • Well trained call-takers and dispatchers are essential to the police response to critical incidents.

    • Critical and need to be involved as well.

 

ICAT Training (49:14)

  • April 11-15, 2016: 60 cops from across the US sat down together to improve how things are being done.
  • ICAT Pilot Series was then created that ran in:

    • Baltimore PD
    • Bay Area Rapid Transit PD
    • Burlington PD
    • Camden County PD
    • Daytona Beach PD
    • Houston P
    • Prince William County PD
  • Publications tied to the Trainings

    • Re-Engineering Training on Police Use of Force
    • Guiding Principles on Use of Force
    • ICAT: Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics.
  • ICAT Critical Decision-Making Model

    • Most important – cops are making decisions everyday

      • Collect information
      • Assess situation, threats, and risks

        • Know and assess the threat
        • Is it immediate, or not?
      • Consider police powers and agency poly
      • Identify options and determine the best course of action

        • Know your options
      • Act, review and re-assess
    • Benefits

      • Better and safe decisions
      • Better explanation of those decisions’
    • Crisis Recognition and Response

      • Recognize someone in crisis
      • Police officers are not doctors to diagnose and treat
      • Police officers are there to understand and diffuse
      • Bring balance to the Emotional-Rational Thinking Scale

        • When your emotions are high, your thinking is low
      • Stabilizing/safely maintaining the scene until specialists arrive is a victory
    • Tactical Communications

      • Active listening is important

        • Listen more than talk
        • Listen to understand, not respond
        • Demonstrate you are listening
        • Show empathy and respect
      • Non-Verbal Communications

        • Body language
        • Eye contact
        • Open-handed gestures
        • Tone of voice
      • Verbal Communications

        • Team concept

          • Wait for back-up, cover
        • Clear, single questions/commands

          • Instead of yelling orders, provide simple commands
        • Ask open-ended questions
        • Provide options
      • Emotional Contagion
    • Operational Safety Tactics

      • Pre-response

        • Collect information
        • Slow down (“tactical pause”)

          • Approach at a lower level
          • Focus thinking
        • Develop a working strategy
        • Prepare and manage yourself

          • When you’re amped up and you’re confronted with the same level of energy, things will clash
      • Response

        • Teamwork
        • Distance + Cover = Time

          • Buy time for more resources
          • Buy time to diffuse the situation
          • Buy time to get less lethal
          • Buy time to get supervisors on the scene
        • Tactical positioning/repositioning

          • No one is asking to retreat
          • Just reposition, move cover
        • Put yourself in a winnable situation
      • Post-Response

        • After-Action Reviews
        • Not grading past success or failure
        • Improving future performance

 

Quick poll

  • How many participants agree law enforcement recruit training properly prepares the new officer to handle critical police incidents including individuals in crisis? (10:34)

    • Agree              31%
    • Disagree         69%
  • Two officers are dispatched to a residence where the caller advised her male friend is suicidal. Officers arrive and the friend states her male friend, who is in the home, may be harming himself with a knife. Do you…? (40:21)

    • Response

      • Immediately enter the residence and to make contact with the subject in order to render aid if necessary. 5%
      • Gather additional information, ensure the friend's safety, develop a plan, and attempt to initiate contact with the suicidal subject from the doorway to the residence. 93%
      • Request the assistance of a “SWAT” type team to handle the incident. 2%
    • Important points:

      • Respect the sanctity of life by promptly rendering first aid.
      • Prohibit use of deadly force against individuals who pose a danger only to themselves.
  • The name of an officer(s) involved in an officer-involved shooting should be released to the public as long as no known threat to the officer’s safety exists. (43:23)

    • Agree              33%
    • Disagree         67%

 

Resources:

http://www.policeforum.org/

Guiding Principles on Use of Force

Re-Engineering Training on Police Use of Force

Hiring for the 21st Century Law Enforcement Officer

Command Performance: A Career Guide for Police Executives

Critical Issues in Policing Series: Advice from Police Chiefs and Community Leaders on Building Trust

Additional Resources
1 month ago
Use of Force: Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics
With the recent shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, lots of law enforcement and legislativ […]
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