IACP 2011: The value of boss-involved survival training
What chief, sheriff, or captain, driving to a cross town meeting, would not stop to assist one of their officers struggling with a suspect at a traffic stop?
Have you ever held the blue bag for your chief, while he was delivering full power kicks or had a captain step forward to volunteer to take the first hit in TASER training? Have you ever been on the range next to your sheriff as the two of you fired a survival course, and afterwards, gazing at the sheriff’s target thought, “Nice group.”
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have experienced “Boss Involved Survival Training.”
Here are some of the many benefits of bosses getting physically involved alongside officers at survival training.
These supervisors are able to give a much more confident and informed press conference following a justifiable use of force by one of their officers.
Supervisors can better serve their personnel, when they know them. Commanders who engage in training with officers will discover it is an excellent opportunity to interact in a very positive manner with line personnel.
After all, they are teammates with a shared mission.
Reinforces the Importance of Training
When a boss decides to attend survival training it also sends a powerful message to the officers in their command. It reinforces the notion that survival training is important for every cop on the street. Bosses can even set a standard for performance as well as enthusiasm to emulate.
There is Still a Need to Personally Train
No matter what position a manager occupies in an agency, they still carry a weapon and a badge. There are certain law enforcement skills that all officers should maintain throughout their career. What chief, sheriff, or captain, driving to a cross town meeting, would not stop to assist one of their officers struggling with a suspect at a traffic stop? What percentage of chiefs, sheriffs or captains, would be drawn to the area of a hot call, when they find themselves close?
On January 5, 2011 Chief Ralph Painter of the Rainier Police Department in Oregon was the first officer to arrive at the scene of a suspect entering a car that was not his own. Once Chief Painter located the suspect a desperate struggle ensued. During the struggle the suspect was able to gain control of the 20-year veteran’s weapon and shot and killed the 55-year-old father of seven. The suspect was later wounded in a gunfight with other responding officers and was apprehended.
Survival skills are perishable skills and need to be maintained regardless of rank or position. The famous coach John Wooden had this to say, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Boss involved training not only prepares the boss for their own survival, it inspires street officers to prepare for their own.
If you take the time to read the honor roll of those that have fallen, you will discover neither courage nor rank has ever shielded the brave. It doesn’t matter if you wear stripes, stars, or bars... as long as you wear a badge and carry a weapon, join your fellow officers and prepare!
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