“If I was there I would have…” Famous words uttered by trainers and officers second guessing the actions of officers in the field. The words are usually uttered after watching an incident on YouTube or hearing about an incident in the field.
Anything that comes after the words “If I was there I would have” is bullshit. The only people who know what they would have done are the officer(s) who were actually there.
To create a positive learning experience from watching events other officers were involved in stop those statements as soon as they start. Once you have shut the second guessing down ask this question, “When you find yourself in a similar situation what would you most like to do?” Follow that question with a debrief / brainstorming session to discuss use of force, legal and tactical options.
Immediately after the discussion give officers a few minutes to close their eyes and imagine themselves in that situation and utilizing the tactics they discussed to successfully conclude the situation.
There is no value in second guessing what officers in the field did. There is value however, in using real situations to learn from the experience of others and better prepare your personnel for future events.
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