“Decisions without Actions are Pointless. Actions
without Decisions are Reckless.” ~Col. John Boyd
Deciding Under Pressure… And fast
October 14th 2008 (8:30AM-4:30PM)
Taunton Holiday Inn
700 Myles Standish Blvd
Taunton, MA 02780
Presented by: MAJ Don Vandergriff U.S. Army RET and Fred Leland, Law Enforcement & Security Consulting (LESC)
According to statistics from In the line of Fire: Violence against Law Enforcement: “98% of the gunfight situations, the offender fired first.”The offenders had a 90% hit rate with a handgun and the officers shooting second, had a 41% hit rate. This statistic is troubling! However physical training methods that include firearms, simmunitions, Range 3000 simulators etc. Have sought to improve the physical side of dealing with conflict. This type of training is most necessary in preparation for what we do… However a more startling statistic from the same report 57% of the offenders interviewed described the victim officer as unprepared! In the latest study (2006) that included 50 victim officers conducted by the FBI Violent Encounters: A study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nations Law Enforcement Officers states; Thirty three (33) of the 50 victim officers did not realize that an attack was initiated. They missed the early warning signs, failed to recognize the signs and signals of danger. In chapter 5 of this great study titled; Perception-Its Role in the Violent Encounter states; the three main components of a violent encounter are (1) the offender, (2) the officer and (3) the circumstances itself. It then talks of the most critical component in my view “the role of perception.” This report is the final in a series of three (killed in the Line of Duty 1992) and (In the Line of Fire 1997) they have evolved greatly over the years and provide a great resource into the way violent encounters unfold and how to prepare for them. Deciding Under Pressure…And Fast covers the mental and moral aspect of conflict and how it applies to the physical realm. Through development of a fined tuned situational awareness, techniques to develop decision making which leads to appropriate actions in handling a vast array of problem and encounters we face daily.
The report Violent Encounters covers a lot of different aspects of conflict to include some “mistaken assumptions” about perception, which ultimately leads to decision making. We must understand conflict to the best of abilities if we are to be successful at handling the types of problems and encounters we respond to.
From the FBI Report Violent Encounters Mistaken assumptions:
1. Everyone sees what really occurs. When people reflect upon their own experiences, they quickly see how erroneous this assumption is. It takes nothing more than attending a sporting event. The referee throws a penalty flag. As quickly as it hits the ground, spectator opinions of what really happened during the controversial call fill the air. With equal certainty, opposite sides defend their positions. It is very clear to each person what happened despite the fact that these explanations contradict one another. It could not have occurred the exact way each person recalls: either the penalty happened or it did not. Until viewing the instant replay in slow motion, however all spectators believe they saw and know what happened. Only the instant replay can reveal the true events that took place.
2. Everyone sees everything that occurs. If this were true, it would not matter where in relation to an incident a witness was standing or whether the witness was tired of fully alert. If the mind recorded all stimuli as does a video camera, then a person would need only recall the specific information. Research experiments, as well as personal experiences, show that the position (standing or seated) of witnesses will affect the quality, quantity and accuracy of their perceptions.
3. Everyone processes incoming information the same way. One of the investigators in this report offers a story to show this assumption is inaccurate. During his college years, he and a friend decided to play a set of tennis and then go into town to do some shopping. At the prearranged time and place, they met. One was dressed for tennis, the other for shopping. Each “knew” they had decided to do both: play tennis and shop. However they “recalled” the order of those events quite differently.
4. Everyone remembers exactly what occurred during an incident. An office involved in a shooting recalled that he fired only two shots. In fact, he had fired six. Even after he saw the evidence of six spent cartridges in his weapon, he still was certain that he fired it only twice.
5. Memories stay the same, maintain accuracy, and remain consistent over time. During the 1970s, journaling was very popular. Many individuals recorded events that occurred and various reactions they experienced during them. Upon reading those journal entries years later, many people are surprised at their recorded entries and reactions. Their current recollection of these circumstances sometimes prove quite different from what they wrote earlier.
6. Because their memories are recorded in their brains as events happen, people can replay those experiences with accuracy and in detail. This is a misunderstanding as to how perception and memory work and has led some judges to refuse to allow witnesses to testify where their memories may have been contaminated.
The upcoming Workshop Deciding Under Pressure…and Fast to be held at the Taunton Holiday Inn on October 14th 8:30AM-4:30PM will discuss these mistaken assumptions and how they relate to poor decisions and incomplete investigations of decisions made… As well as the proper way to create and nurture the right organizational climate for good decisions.
Click here for details on the work shop and to register.