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Navigating police use of force: Strategies for effective training in law enforcement

Jamie Borden urges officers to seek continuous training in self-defense and defensive tactics to ensure their safety and effectiveness

In the third 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 emphasizes the necessity of officers investing in their training, beyond the basics taught at the academy, to enhance their decision-making skills, self-defense capabilities and application of force in real-world scenarios. His experience underscores the critical nature of such training in preparing officers for the unpredictable challenges they face in the line of duty.

Key learning points

Continuous learning and self-investment: Law enforcement officers should actively pursue additional training opportunities to stay ahead in their field. Investing in oneself, even if it means personally funding training the department does not support, is crucial for career longevity and personal safety.

Critical evaluation of training: Officers are advised to critically assess the training they receive, looking beyond the face value of the instruction. Understanding the application of taught techniques in real-life scenarios and aligning them with legal and ethical standards is essential.

Turning knowledge into wisdom: The transition from theoretical knowledge to practical wisdom is pivotal in law enforcement. Officers must engage in post-training discussions, explore ‘what if’ scenarios, and learn from both successes and failures to develop a deep understanding and effective application of force.

Questions for discussion

  1. How can law enforcement agencies create a culture that values and promotes continuous learning and training among officers?
  2. In what ways can officers ensure the training they receive is relevant, effective, and applicable to the scenarios they face in the field?
  3. How can law enforcement personnel balance the need for specialized training, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or handling bladed weapons, with the reality that these skills may be seldom used but critically important in certain situations?

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