11/09/2011

Gary T. KlugiewiczKlugie's Correctional Corner
with Gary T. Klugiewicz

Complete public transparency

We all know that whether the officer's actions are justifiable or not depends on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time of the incident

Recently, an Alabama officer was fired over a TASERing incident that happened in local jail.

Just having the newspaper article and a piece of video footage isn't enough to make a decision on whether the use-of-force in any incident is justifiable or not. As an expert witness, I know the importance of getting all the facts first, i.e. all interviews, reports, documents, videos, personnel files, internal affair findings, etc.

We all know that whether the officer's actions are justifiable or not depends on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time of the incident.

The real importance of this recent news article is not whether the officer's actions are justifiable or not but rather a concept that Dr. George Thompson of the Verbal Judo Institute developed shortly before his death referred to as Complete Public Transparency.

This concept refers to the fact that everything that an officer does will eventually come out to and be reviewed in the full light of day. There are no longer any dark alleys or dark cells, for that matter, for the officer's actions to be hidden by.

Although the change had already begun more than twenty years ago, after the global media frenzy of the Rodney King Video, it has now exploded into an era of Complete Public Transparency. I posted a video showing the Rodney King video for our new officers who weren't around for this incident that for once and all changed how law enforcement use-of-force is viewed. This incident and others like it created a reasonable doubt in the eyes of our citizens that the officer(s) may have used too much force.

At no time in history has police business been more public. Police response, both appropriate and improper, is no longer just caught on the front page of a newspaper or on television. Police business is now being posted on YouTube where 100,000s, even millions of people, watch it over and over again.

Our actions are now immortal and capable of being viewed forever on the Internet. This is one of the major differences in police work from a decade ago. Never before has the need for professional police conduct been more important.

As Dr. Thompson loved to say, "You need to look good and sound good or no good." We, the police, need to be act, talk, and be more professional than ever before.

Our personal and professional survival demands it.

About the author

Experience, expertise and communication skills are the criteria by which a defensive tactics instructor is judged. By these measures, Gary T. Klugiewicz is recognized as one of the nation's leading control systems analysts specializing in the Use of Force.

Gary is the training director for Vistelar (www.vistelar.com), a global consulting & training firm that addresses the entire spectrum of human conflict. His Verbal Defense & Influence (www.verbaldefenseandinfluence.com) training program is used worldwide in a variety of disciplines to teach non-escalation of conflict and reduce the need for de-escalation tactics. Gary specializes in transforming theory (“fire talks”) into reality (“fire drills”) through the use of Emotionally Safe Performance-Driven Instruction.

He retired from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department in 2001 after 25 years of service, during which he rose to the rank of captain. As a former Street Survival® Seminar instructor and internationally known defensive tactics instructor, Gary’s training has impacted literally hundreds of thousands of officers.

Gary developed the Principles of Subject Control (P.O.S.C.®) for Correctional Personnel that have been adopted by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Training & Standards Bureau and Wisconsin Department of Corrections for their correctional training programs. He has been instrumental in the development of Correctional Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) training programs throughout the United States. Gary has revolutionized crisis intervention training through the development of the “First Responder Point-of-Impact Crisis Intervention (PICI) Training Programs for Persons with Special Needs” training program. PICI focuses on keeping people safe through a system of time-tested crisis intervention tactics and the development of Special Needs Strategies.

Gary Klugiewicz has spent more than 30 years as a line officer, supervisor, and a control systems designer. He currently serves as a defensive tactics consultant for numerous police and correctional agencies throughout the United States.
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