Enough with the screaming and yelling thinking it will make recruits into law enforcement professionals.
Enough with the ‘stress academy’ mindset of continually trying to stress officers out in the academy somehow believeing it will make them more resilient to stress in the field.
Enough with treating officers like shit in an academy setting believing it will toughen them up.
Enough with punishing officers in training and justifying it saying there are consequences to behaviors in the field.
Yelling, screaming, and swearing at recruits non stop in an academy will not make them more resilient to the realities of the real world. Some of them will realize it is a game and play along. Some will learn that when you are in a position of power you can abuse people and will get themselves into trouble in the field, as supervisors and as trainers. Some will learn that you have to take shit from people as part of the job and will allow themselves to be abused in the field.
Every medical and scientific research project regarding stress shows the negative benefits of long term stress on physical and cognitive performance. Stressing the crap out of recruits does not make them into better officers it just makes them stressed out and shortens their life expectancy.
Why do trainers believe that punishment is somehow an effective teaching tool. Punishment is just that – punishment. It does not create positive long term behavioural changes in most people. Some learn from it, most simply learn to hate it and the training associated with it.
Officers get punished on the range with pushups when they drop a magazine during a reload. In the field the consequence of dropping a magazine during a reload is not pushups. The consequence is that my gun is empty and I may still be in a fight for my life. Teach officers to fix the problem and win the fight rather than punish them for something that may happen in the field.
Officers are punished at the range during a “two to the body, one to the head” drill if they miss the head shot. In some academies the punishment is the ‘offending’ officers, and all the others at the range have to run. In the field no one is going to tell you to shoot two to the body and one to the head and the consequences of missing a head shot in the field (when centre of mass shots are ineffective or unavailable) is not that I will have to run laps, the consequence is that I am still in a fight for my life and I need to slow down and make the next shot(s) count. So, train officers to do that on the range.
Officers are punished with pushups in control tactics if they drop a piece of equipment. Often the punishment is that everyone in the class does pushups. In the field officers drop equipment due to the dynamic nature of combative events, cold weather, or the effects of stress. The consequence is not physical exercise. The consequence is that I am still in a fight and I need to fix the problem. I either need to retrieve the piece of equipment and get back in the fight, or leave it and transition to something else so train officers to do that in training.
I believe in high standards. I believe in making people work to achieve those standards. I believe in rewarding people when they have success and continue to improve. I believe that training should be demanding. I believe in treating recruits like the professionals we want them to become. I believe law enforcement professionals are warriors and need to embrace the winning mind and warrior spirit.
I believe the time has come to say enough with the old school treat them like shit and they will somehow become warriors in the process mentality. So I say ENOUGH. What do you say?