A number of years ago the aviation industry implemented a program call CRM (Crew Resource Management / Cockpit Resource Management). This program was the result of discoveries during the investigation of some of the worst disasters in aviation history. Many of these disasters were a result of the ‘culture of the cockpit’ where the pilot was considered to be King of the Cockpit and no one dared to challenge his or her decisions or actions. As a result of this culture the First Officer often would fail to challenge the pilot even when they new there was a serious problem. CRM was implemented so that it was the responsibility of any crew member to address safety issues regardless of their position or seniority.
Recently I listened to a solo episode of The Dose of Leadership Podcast with Richard Pierson. The title of the episode was “No Egos in the Cockpit”. Rierson is a former Marine and a pilot. He shared some history of the CRM program and then talked about his own philosophy of “No egos in the cockpit.” Rierson explained that every time he flies with someone new he tells them that it is not their right to challenge him if his actions or decisions compromised the safety of the aircraft in any way, rather it is their obligation.
It struck me that we need to implement some form of CRM in law enforcement. We could start with training by implementing the culture of no egos in the training room. If anyone identifies something that compromises the safety of participants in training it is their obligation to speak up and address it. Imagine how many training tragedies and injuries could have been avoided over the years if we had this culture.
As a trainer it is your obligation to address other trainers who are delivering out of date or inaccurate information, or making inappropriate comments during training. You have an obligation to that trainer, to the officers in the class, to the agency and to the profession to address these issues.
No egos in the patrol car should be a key theme of all Field Training Officer programs.
One of the key messages of the Below 100 program is the importance of having a courageous conversation with fellow officers who you know are engaged in dangerous behaviours such as always driving at excessive speed, not wearing their seatbelt, refusing to wear their body armour and their high visibility gear, failing to call for backup and failing to wait for backup. We also talk about having courageous conversations with officers who are struggling emotionally, drinking to excess and not looking after their health and wellness. We need law enforcement professionals to understand it is their obligation to have these conversations.
Consider the concept of No Egos in the training room, the patrol car, the briefing room and during debriefings.
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