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Navigating police use of force: Rethinking training standards for real-world expertise

Jamie Borden explores the limitations of academy training and advocates for self-investment to bridge the gap between knowledge and proficiency in policing

In the first of a seven-part Policing Matters Roll Call series on use of force, host Jim Dudley engages with Jamie Borden from Critical Incident Review.

Borden offers invaluable insights into the before, during, and after stages of critical incidents, shedding light on the decision-making processes of officers and the challenges they face. This dialogue delves into the adequacy of current training standards, the reality of expertise in high-stress situations, and the importance of self-investment for law enforcement professionals.

Key learning points

Training standards vs. expertise: Borden highlights the disparity between training standards and the expertise required for real-world encounters. While police academies aim to equip officers with foundational knowledge, the limited duration and scope of training sessions often fall short of cultivating true expertise.

Adjusting expectations: Acknowledging the constraints of training, there’s a necessity to adjust expectations of officers’ capabilities in dynamic, life-threatening situations. Borden emphasizes the importance of recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses while encouraging self-investment for personal and professional growth.

Self-investment and preparedness: Borden advocates for officers to proactively invest in their mental, emotional, and physical preparedness. Whether through physical conditioning or mental fortitude, self-investment plays a crucial role in enhancing officers’ effectiveness and survivability on the job.

Questions for discussion

  1. How can law enforcement agencies bridge the gap between training standards and the expertise required for effective decision-making in high-stress situations?
  2. How can departments better support officers in their self-investment efforts for improved readiness and resilience?
  3. What role does ongoing education and training play in maintaining and enhancing officers’ skills throughout their careers, especially concerning evolving threats and scenarios?

The entire series is available for viewing below.

In this seven-part series, Policing Matters podcast host Jim Dudley speaks with Jamie Borden about the complexities and nuances of police use of force
Jamie Borden explores the limitations of academy training and advocates for self-investment to bridge the gap between knowledge and proficiency in policing
Jamie Borden delves into the adequacy of current fitness standards for law enforcement officers
Jamie Borden urges officers to seek continuous training in self-defense and defensive tactics to ensure their safety and effectiveness
Jamie Borden discusses how de-escalation is not just a tactic but a goal, achieved through a range of tactical endeavors based on the dynamic circumstances officers face
Jamie Borden on the importance of officers being alert, prepared and constantly running through “what if” scenarios
Jamie Borden discusses the nuances and complexities officers face when engaging with an unarmed but potentially assaultive individual
Jamie Borden shares critical insights on preparing for a post-incident interview, highlighting the nuances between an officer’s perceived truth and the established facts

Policing Matters law enforcement podcast with host Jim Dudley features law enforcement and criminal justice experts discussing critical issues in policing