Over at Law Enforcement Security Consultants (LESC.net) Fred Leland has produced a great article on lessons learned for 2011 and the mounting numbers of deaths in the line of duty police are experiencing. Here is a piece of the article and I strongly recommend reading it.
Preparation and readiness requires a mindset on our part of adaptation and continued learning, unlearning and relearning in an effort to maintain the initiative in a given set of unique circumstances. It is not following a canned response or following check lists or policy and procedures. Canned responses, checklists and policy and procedures take insight, innovation and initiative away from the individual(s) on the frontline. This is part of the problem and nowhere near close to the solution. Lead, leadership is not an event driven thing, leadership is a daily thing that involves teaching, training, interacting and engaging your people, so excellence in execution is the outcome. Leadership is about critiquing and harnessing lessons learned…daily! This is TRAINING! Real on the job training and powerful training!
The solution is found in our collective ability to constantly strive to be better at what we do and learn from experience, to include experience from others. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice by making mistakes and having them exploited by those who would do them harm. These mistakes and lessons learned have been written and talked about for over 40 years now and yet many of those killed in the line of duty today perish from the same mistakes being repeated again and again.
What’s missing? CONSISTANT ONGOING TRAINING is what’s missing. Yes we have evolved training programs. Yes we have simulators and simmunitions! Yes, we have courses on bullet proofing the mind, tactical and close combat firearms courses. Yes we have defensive and EVOC driving courses. Yes we have active shooter and crisis response training! We do have more knowledge today in our profession. But what we do not have, is those who train and understand how to apply the knowledge they possess to circumstances presented on the street.
The lessons learned and matter we should be taking from all this are relatively simple. From the moment we bring new police officers into the fold we should be developing leaders that think independently but strategically. Oriented towards tactics, but not bound by a strict list if the situation calls for a fluid response. Whether we are doing that is the question.
Attorney Ronald A. Sellon