Police, probation, and parole officers ensure that citizens and communities remain safe. However, as they perform their duty, they are putting their lives in danger. Being in close contact with offenders who have already committed violent crimes or those who hold the police, probation and parole officers personally responsible for their conviction can be risky.
For this course, Scott Kirshner joins the Justice Clearinghouse to talk about the peril that the roles involve and how to prepare if danger comes their way. Scott held various roles within the criminal justice system, with extensive experience in officer safety and survival. He develops and implements officer safety curriculums for agencies. He is a Certified Firearms Instructor, Lead Defensive Tactics instructor and Officer Survival Instructor who teaches use of force, tactical mindset, safety policies, among others.
Some of the specifics and points Scott unpacks in the webinar include:
- Cases where probation and parole officers were killed in the line of duty, the facts of the cases and lessons learned from each of them.
- Defining what dedicated threat is and what one's objective must be when faced with it.
- The concept of combat mindset and how it relates to and affects humans’ flight, flee or freeze response.
- The qualities of a violent confrontation that must be addressed for training to be effective.
- Statistics of cases where POs are killed in the line of duty that deep-dives on the characteristics of the victims and the facts of the incident.
- The themes that were highlighted upon analyzing the statistics.
- Questions armed officers must self-reflect on to gauge their preparedness and skills.
- How luck works and the importance investing on mental awareness and physical preparedness instead of depending on luck.
- The important factors of mental preparation that highlights self-awareness through reality check, attitude check, self-promise, and commitment.
- The common attitudes and practices that lead officers to unsafe situations.
- The importance of self-confidence, training, effectiveness in combat, decisiveness, and perseverance under stress in an officer’s survival.
- Using mental conditioning techniques that allows a person to rehearse the scenarios, options, and outcomes in one's mind before it happens in reality.
- The variations of imagery to apply as a form of mental conditioning.
During the Q&A, Scott clarified the attendees’ inquiries on:
- Whether existing defensive tactics training are sufficient
- Practicing tactical mindset when the agencies aren’t necessarily supporting it
- Communicating the importance of tactics and combat training with the agency’s leaders
- Increasing officer participation in defensive tactics training
- Requesting for arms as a probation or parole officer
- The variability of the risk of violent attacks from offenders probation officers work with
- How to diminish the culture of complacency
Resources Mentioned During Webinar