Developing Problem Solvers: New Perspectives on Pedagogical Practices in Police Use of Force Training

Mario S. Staller, Benjamin Zaiser


Police use of force training is a crucial guarantor of officer safety when preparing law enforcement professionals to prevent and deal with physical confrontations. Current research on the efficiency of use of force application in the line of duty revealed that acquired skills do not necessarily transfer to real world incidents (Jager, Klatt, & Bliesener, 2013; Renden, Nieuwenhuys, Savelsbergh, & Oudejans, 2015). Based on (a) a review of police use of force literature with a focus on the transferability of skills and (b) a consideration of modern approaches of skill development in the sports domain, we argue that designing learning environments based on sound pedagogical practices in the use of force domain improves the transferability of skills taught in training, without the expense of adding additional training time or employing expensive training strategies. It is also suggested that improving police use of force training with a more inclusive approach, emphasizing the acquisition and development of motor skills (i.e., handgun proficiency or self-defense techniques) in conjunction with the associated decision-making skills.
Keywords: police use of force training, reality-based training, police training, officer safety, skill transfer, representative learning design

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[JLE] ISSN 2161-0231 (Online)

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