7 training tips to survive your technology
Operate the technology in short bursts, pausing regularly to take the time to refocus, observe, and analyze your environment to assess changes and identify dangers
Have you ever tried to continue a conversation with a person whose attention has been drawn away to answer a text message? How about trying to get the attention of an adult or child whose attention is intently focused on the screen of their laptop computer? Have you ever attempted to extend a greeting to an acquaintance as they passed on the street, when they were talking on a cell phone?
These attention-sapping devices are now in every squad car in America. Some are furnished by the agency and others are personally owned. For great lengths of time officers are turning away from the world spinning around them on their beats and dangerously concentrating on a parallel world flickering on a screen sometimes as small as three inches by three inches.
Anyone travelling about the country can’t help but notice how many officers seated in squad cars have an eyes-down posture. As you see an officer on the side of the road or in a lot, stick your hand out the window and give out a friendly wave as you pass. Chances are it will not only go unreturned, but it will go unnoticed.
Guess what: criminals have noticed. They haven’t posted a memo on any blog page or printed the information up on their monthly periodicals. They have chosen to forgo any notification and instead take advantage by engaging in tragically successful ambushes with startling regularity. As of this writing, 40 percent of officers who were killed in the line of duty through gunfire so far in 2011 have died in ambushes.
7.) Technological Survival Training
Now, consider taking a toy laptop or toy cell phone to the range for this two-officer drill. While seated in front of a mechanical threat target that is turned away, the officer on the range lowers his or her head, chin to chest holding the toy technology. The partner officer then turns the threat target and shouts, “heads up!”
The officer lifts their head, observes the threat, immediately drops the technology they are holding without concern for breakage and draws to meet the threat. Do this for repetition.
A Couple Words from a Longtime FTO
When your attention must be diverted by these amazing tools, operate the technology in short bursts like firing an automatic weapon. Pause regularly to take the time to refocus, observe, and analyze the environment you are in to assess changes and identify dangers.
In short, here are a couple of words from a long time field training officer to every cop still in the mix: Heads up!
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