“During my 87 years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.”
— Bernard Baruch, financier
The question for this week is – Have we become too reliant on technology and forgotten about the importance of character and the ability to think?
I hear instructors complain about the ‘new generation’ of police officers (30 years ago I was the ‘new generation’ and they were complaining about us.) we are hiring and how they are so reliant on technology. I then observe those same instructors unable to teach if the powerpoint projector breaks down, or the computer interface with the projector is not working.
I see instructors that can only teach what’s in the lesson plan and cannot help officers in training to problem solve when things do not go as planned.
I see instructors using FATS and other video interactive use of force training systems as simply shoot / don’t shoot systems rather than being creative and using them to teach observation, decision making and articulation skills.
I see instructors simply adopt a manufacturer’s training system as gospel rather than see it as a starting point on which to build in integration with other force options as well as problem solving and decision making.
We need to embrace technology and find ways to maximize it. We also need to avoid becoming robotic as instructors and ensure we have the depth of character, knowledge and skill to be able to teach decision making in every aspect of our programs and to model character for our officers.
P.S. The powerful new book If I Knew Then: Life Lessons From Cops on the Street is now available exclusively at www.warriorspiritbooks.com.