- Guest Post: Toward a Police Ethos: Defining Our Values as a Call to Action by John Bertetto
- Adaptability is Key in Handling Crisis Situations…Be In Command and Out Of Control
- For Meaningful Lasting Results, Get Into the Weeds…and Identify Root Causes
- Want to get better and be safer? Debrief!
- How to Forge Adaptability in Police Leaders and Culture
- Adaptive Leadership is Purposeful Learning in Real Time
- Book Review: The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and The World
- Growing Leaders Who Practice Mission Command and Win the Peace, Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer, U.S. Army
- Achieving Greatness by Giving Control and Creating Leaders
- Choosing Adaptability by Gary Gagliardi and The Science of Strategy Institute
- The Review of Boyd & Beyond 2013…..
- Have You Thought About Why You Choose To Lead?
- Incident Command: the big picture by Louis Hayes
- Understanding the OODA Loop by Derek Stephens
- The Cops Amaze Me by Bob Lonsberry
- I Am An Optimist. It Does Not Seem Too Much Use Being Anything Else!
- Mike Rayburn Asks...What Makes A Good Street Cop?
- Fighting the good fight with moral clarity by Lt. Dan Marcou
- Are Gated Communities Really Secure?
- Top 25 Criminal Justice Blogs We made the list at # 3
- Incident Command: the team cohesion aspect of the SitRep
- Book Review: Always Picked Last: Conquering the Bullies: A Guide To Finding Your Way in Life…
- To Continuously Improve We Must Set Boundaries and Expectations
- Elite Performance...Takes WORK? Say it ain't so!
- Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture by Tracey Richardson
- Have You Stopped a Car Today? Improving Patrols Tactical Effectiveness with Vehicle Stops
- Incident Command: Communicating the Situation and Location By Louis Hayes
- Incident Command: a problem-solving approach By Louis Hayes
- SWAT Cop Says American Neighborhoods Are 'Battlefields,' Claims Cops Face Same Dangers As Soldiers In Afghanistan
- Overmilitarization: Why Law Enforcement Needs to Scale Down Its Use of Military Hardware and Tactics By Evan Bernick
- John Boyd’s Art of War Why our greatest military theorist only made colonel. By William S. Lind
- Police militarization and rise of the warrior journalist by Lance Eldridge
- Strategic Studies Institute: Cartel Car Bombings in Mexico Authored by Dr. Robert J. Bunker, Mr. John P. Sullivan
- To Strengthen And Preserve Cohesion Your Values...Equal Their Values
- Another Must Read Book From Don Vandergriff: "The Path To Victory" Revised Kindle Version with a new foreword
- Safe Streets, Overruled By Heather McDonald of the City Journal
- Must Read Book On Leader Development, Updated Kindle Addition: Don Vandergriff's, Raising The Bar:
- Brian Willis Offers Great Info on Defeating...The Enemy Of Innovation
- Police militarization and the Ethical Warrior By Jack E. Hoban & Bruce J. Gourlie
- “A Way” To Develop a Toxic Leader: How We as Leaders Create Our Own Monsters
- The Guy Behind the Guy, Behind the Guy: A Case for Taking our Roles More Seriously
- Flatenning the Decision Cycle in Tactical Units
- Tactical Supervision: Coaches and Chessplayers: Guest Post By Louis Hayes
- To effectively function in the initial, chaotic stages of a crisis, develop adaptive leaders
- FEAR VS COURAGE: IT'S YOUR CHOICE By Danny Cox
- Skid Row Terrorist
- Col John Boyd: Question and Answer Video
- Great Piece on Adaptability by Brian Willis: The Dinosaur versus The Cockroach Training Model
- The Psychotic Militarization of Law Enforcement
- The Missing Piece of NIMS: Teaching Incident Commanders How to Function in the Edge of Chaos by Police Chief, Cynthia Renaud
- The Human Problem? by Frank Borelli an Officer.com article
- From Police One 3 techniques for controlling your brain with Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.
- Great Article From Police One with Val Van Brocklin: How to create 'fierce followers' in law enforcement
- Deadly Force: Have We Lost Our Senses? Guest Post by Louis Hayes
- Tactical Philosophy 101 A Guest Post by Louis Hayes
- Leadership in Unconventional Crises
- Unconventional Crises, Unconventional Responses: Reforming Leadership in the Age of Catastrophic Crises and “Hyper complexity”
- JOHN BOYD WAS A PATRIOT, A MORAL LEADER, AND A BONAFIDE VISIONARY. AND YES, HE WAS A MAVERICK.
- Force Science Research Study: The Influence of Officer Positioning on Movement During a Threatening Traffic Stop Scenario
- Guest Post: Adaptive Decision-Making by Sid Heal
- “More Better,” Ideals, and To Be or To Do: Guest Post by Scott Shipman
- Learning Like an Expert: A Guest Post by Marshall Wallace
- What Represents a High Level of Professionalism?
- This Memorial Day Remember: The Path of The Warrior
- School Security: Sharing and Enhancing Best Practices
- Guest Post by Michael G. Moore: Boyd's Snowmobile ...or what made Alexander “The Great”
- Coffee Pots and Baseball Bats: Household Items Offer Protection
- Learning to Adapt With A Professional Reading Program
- Boyd and Beyond 2013
- Guest Post by Tyana Daley: Developing Law Enforcement Leaders and Nurturing Smart Thinkers
- Somewhere Between Born and Made: Where Good Leaders Come From
- Is Today Your Day?
- Guest Post by John Demand: “You look for the bomb…we look for the bomber”
- What Do OODA Loop’s Mean to the Street Cop, Wanting To Become “World Class” Tacticians?
- The Psychology of a Boston Marathon Terrorist: 10 Questions for a Retired Marine
- Watching Boston “Work Together” Made Me Proud to Be a Police Officer
- What Makes a "World Class" Tactically Proficient Peacekeeper?
- Tactical Decision Games to Increase Speed and Maturity of Problem Solving: The Lessons Learned
- The Path to Better Execution in Seeing, Understanding and Solving Complex Problems is a Learning Organization
- A Systemic Concept for Operational Design: a Robust Tool Law Enforcement Should Use in Preparing for Chaotic Crisis
- How shift debriefings can improve officer safety Published at P1
- Boyd and Beyond Boston 2013: Balancing Pursuasion and Force in The Moral, Mental and Physical Dimensions of Conflict
- Don Vandergriff, Discusses: Misinterpretation and Confusion: What is Mission Command?
- Huddling-Up To Acheive Successful Law Enforcement Outcomes
- Building Cohesive Law Enforcement Agencies That Can Decide In Crisis Situations
- Mistakes ultimately ended ex-LA cop's rampage
- Red Teaming The Workplace Violence Shooter and The "MR. Uncomfortable Factor"
- Top 30 Criminal Justice Blogs of 2012 : LESC is Number 5!
- Showing Up Is Overrated. Necessary But Not Nearly Sufficient. Can Taking An "Interest" In What You Do Enhance Performance?
- Handling Dynamic Encounters...Go Get Him, Or Set Him Up To Get Him...With An Adaptable Response
- Shift Debriefings: How Can We Be More Deliberate, More Disciplined, and More Thorough in our Approach to Learning?
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 6: Provoke Your Adversary’s Reaction
- Does Mass Violence Unfold Randomly and Chaotic or is There Hidden Order We Can Leverage in Our Prevention Efforts?
- Police One Column: 13 questions to answer in 2013: What has 2012 taught you about officer safety and effectiveness?
- Take Small Steps, Towards, Lifelong Learning In 2013
- Positive Adaptive Leadership...Tools and Tips and Critical Questions To Explore in 2013 Inspired by Many Of Those I Follow
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 5: Sheath Your Sword
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 4: Score A Small Victory Along The Way
- In Mastering Tactics Shouldn’t We Be Blending Policy and Procedures with People and Ideas?
- Ready, Aim, Ready?
- IMPLEMENTATION (OODA LOOP OR BOYD’S CYCLE) by Sid Heal
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 3: Engage Your Adversary From Many Directions
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 2: Lure The Tiger Out Of The Mountain
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 1: Catch Your Adversary Sleeping
- The Art of War: Sun Tzu Strategy Card Deck…Simple, Yet, Great Tool for Developing Strategic and Tactical Mindset
- "Certain men…come to be accepted guardians and transmitters, instructors, of established doctrines...
- On Vision
- Book Review: The Rite of Return: Coming Back From Duty Induced PTSD
- Restoring the Wounded Spirit
- Deciding Under Pressure…and Fast: You Need to Understand the Concept of “Coup d’oeil”
- How Do Adaptive Leaders Think?
- Capt Evan Bradley on Boyd, Adaptability and Understanding the Bigger Picture in Conflict
- Captain Lindsay Rodman On Boyd and Taking Ownership of What You Do!
- William McNulty-Team Rubicon: Boyd, Applied to Disaster Response
- Heroes Behind the Badge
- Chet Richards On Boyd...Is Your Orientation, Matched to Reality?
- Col GI Wilson on Boyd, Bureaucracy, Insight, Imagination, Intent and Implementation
- What hath Boyd wrought? With Remarks
- John Boyd, Conceptual Spiral, and the meaning of life
- Boyd and Beyond 2012, Quantico, VA — a quickie recap by Scott Shipman
- Finished Gung Ho! The Corps Most Progressive Tradition
- Dangerous Minds – The Relationship between Beliefs, Behaviors, and Tactics
- Guest Post: Super Cops - Can we create them??? “Yes you can!”
- "The importance of a proper command system...
- "Leaders gain confidence and become more tactically and technically proficient...
- Help staff practice thinking on their feet to prepare for emergencies
- More On, Gung Ho! Out of Seeming Defeat May Have Sprung Great Potential
- Latest P1 Column: The anatomy of victory (part two): Victory at minimal cost
- Chapter 1 Review of "Gung Ho! The Corps' Most Progressive Tradition
- Latest P1 Column: The anatomy of victory (part one): What does it take to win?
- Proper Police Action Requires...What?
- P1 Column: Patterns of behavior, officer safety, and 'the rule of opposites'
- Be agile and win:
- Why Boyd is Agile
- Destruction & Creation: Are You Locked on One Way of Thinking or Are You Adaptable, Approaching Tactical Dilemmas?
- Book Review: Deadly Force: Firearms and American Law Enforcement, from the Wild West to the Streets of Today
- The power of a handshake!
- Winning at Low Cost: No better friend, no better role model, no better diplomat and, no worse enemy
- "The most efficient way to get the behavior you're looking for is to find positive deviants and...
- Book Review: Police Instructor: Deliver Dynamic Presentations, Create Engaging Slides & Increase Active Learning
- "Organizations by their very nature involves a series of balances...
- "Of every 100 men you send to fight, 10 shouldn't even be there. Eighty are...
- Column at Police One: Mental toughness and the power to adapt
- Mental Attitude Can Be Negative or Positive
- The Anatomy of Victory: What Does It Take To "Win"at Low Cost?
- "They can't understand why their parent organizations didn't better prepare them...
- Counter-Ambush Tactics: Thinking Tactically and Doing What You Know How To Do On The Street
- Train To Make a Difference! A Decrease in Officer Fatalities in 1st Quarter of 2012
- "They prefer to achieve their results by...
- Part 2: Train the brain: Using decision making critiques to leverage lessons learned: Published at Police One
- "Wild animals are taken by scouting, by nets, by lying in wait, by stalking...
- "If one has never personally experience war...
- Chet Richards On: Boyd's Really Real OODA Loop
- Destruction and Creation
- A Video Biography of COL John Boyd
- Book Review: Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
- Book Review: Thinking Fast and Slow By Daniel Kahneman
- Train the brain: Using tactical decision games in training Published at POLICE ONE
- OODA Loops: The Explorer Mentality...And Recognizing Patterns of Behavior
- OODA Loop & Human Reaction Time
- The Leaders Ultimate Reward: 'I saw Someone Grow today, and I Helped'
- Where Have All the Warriors Gone? A Spot On Article, Every Cop Should Read
- Should Street Cops, Break Routines...and Think?
- Broken Windows...A Powerful Strategy, When Applied Robustly
- Lessons from SWAT the Street Cop Can Use on The Three Speeds of Operations
- Law enforcement interaction with the dangerously mentally ill
- Tip: Have an 'exit' strategy on vehicle stops
- What Those We Train Say About Us
- Mastering Tactics with Decision Making Exercises and Critiques
- The OODA loop, reaction time, and decision making
- Leaders share the faith...and promote heretics
- COL John Boyd: Building Snowmobiles and a Fine-tuned Situational Awareness
- Mindset and Winning is About Much More than Words, Isn't It?
- Interacting Tactfully and Tactically: Is This a Strategy, Law Enforcement Can Use?
- Emotion verses Strategy: Which Helps You Gain the Position of Advantage?
- "It Never Happens Here" So WHY Do We Train?
- Think 'FAST': A mnemonic to help keep you safe, by John Demand
- PoliceOne.Com Published: Are you prepared to adapt and win on the street?
- Understanding and Developing Adaptive Leadership During Pre-commissioning
- Book Review: If I Knew Then 2: Warrior Reflections
- A VISION AND THE MISSION FOR: THE FUTURE LAW ENFORCEMENT LEARNING ORGANIZATION
- Police Leaders as Educators and Trainers...Inspiring Cops to More Effective and Safe Policing
- You've Got To Have an Ace in the Hole. Are You Prepared to Adapt and Win on the Street?
- What has 2011 Taught You About Officer Safety and Effectiveness?
- Police One, column 'Staying Oriented' article #1: 'Red Teaming' the cop killer
- Mental Toughness and The Competitive Nature of Conflict
- Police Militarization, Professionalism, and the Balance of Persuasion and Force
- Mental Toughness and...The Power to Adapt
- Mental Toughness: Optimistic Enthusiasm as a Form of Realism
- Preparing for Crisis with Tactical Decision Games, After Action Reviews and Critical Question Mapping
- Great Recap of Boyd and Beyond 2011 By Scott Shipman
- Global Warrior Averting WWIII, John Poole's Latest Strategic and Tactical Insights to Protecting the Homeland
- Brain plasticity: A whole new idea for cops
- Boyd & Beyond is on for 14 & 15 October at Quantico.
- "SWARMING TACTICS" Published in the California Association of Tactical Officers official publication CATO NEWS
- Documentary: Massacre at Virginia Tech
- Book Review: TEMPO Timing, Tactics and Strategy in Narrative Driven Decision Making by Venkatesh Rao
- Fine Art, Fine Tuning Situation Awareness and Training Cops to See
- 15 Meters/11Seconds By C Flaherty and AR Green
- Too Focused? You Might Miss Something Important
- Dangerous Body Language: Digging Beyond What You See!
- Swarming & The Future of Conflict by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt
- Swarming Tactics by Sid Heal
- More On Swarming Tactics...An Option For Law Enforcement
- Dangerous Body Language: Detecting Deception and Danger
- Cops Line of Duty Deaths Rising in 2011 "APPLYING"Lessons Learned
- Cops, Security, Citizens Need to Be Aware: Does the Climate & Environment Shift in the Wake of bin Laden's Death?
- Progress, Interrupt and Neutralize (P.I.N.) Swarming Techniques For The Tactician
- Should We Be Thinking Like the Bad Guys?
- Meet Officers Lewis and Clark-Exploring Situational Awareness
- Dangerous Body Language,The Boyd Cycle and Winning on the Street
- Dangerous Body Language: A Thousand Words...None Spoken! The Nose, Mouth and Lips
- The 10% of Mindset
- The 3 P's in Extreme Close Quarters Training: Pre-Assault Indicators, Precognitive Programming and Proximity
- Tactical IQ: Using "SURPRISE" to Set the Tempo of Confrontation.
- Tactical IQ: "FRICTION" Why is the Simplest Thing, So Difficult?
- Dangerous Body Language: A Thousand Words...None Spoken! Darting Eyes
- Operation Bold Strike: Follow Me Training Support Package
- Follow Me!!! Creating and Nurturing Tactical Decision Makers With Combat Tested Methodologies
- Training the Whole Circle: Blending Boyd's Cycle and Cooper's Color Codes
- Dangerous Body Language: A Thousand Words...None Spoken! "Gaze Avoidance"
- From OODA to AAADA ― A cycle for surviving violent police encounters
- Dangerous Body Language: A Thousand Words...None Spoken! The Thousand Yard Stare
- Baltimore Police Sergeants Training Using Adaptive Leadership Methodology with Don Vandergriff's AAR
- Achieving Outcomes on the Street with Integrity, Building Loyalty and Mutual Trust
- Intersecting Ideas from Cross Disciplines...and Taking Boyd's Theories Beyond
- Tactical IQ: Developing "Fingertip Feel" Shaping and Reshaping Dynamic Encounters To Gain the Advantage
- Reducing Law Enforcement Misfortunes...What About the Street Officer?
- Can technology suck your brain dry?
- Organizational Culture: Is Yours Congruent with What You Do?
- Fighting Complacency Reminder: Nothing We Do is Routine, NOTHING!!!
- Street Level Red Teaming: The Cop Killer
- Street Level Red Teaming: Assessing The Situation From the Adversarial Point of View
- Take A.I.M. and Prepare To Win Dynamic Encounters
- Don't Charge Police for Mistakes
- What is a Threat?
- Benefits of Conditioning Our Decision Making...The Boyd Cycle
- Superior Situational Awareness and Decision Making...Attributes And Skills of Full Spectrum Officers
- Earning "The Right to Lead" With Character and Courage
- JUSTIFIED: Are You Serious? The Balancing Act of Persuasion, and Reasonable Force
- Adaptive Leader Methodology: An Alternative for Better Outcomes
- When Do We Teach the Basics?
- Evolving Threats Small Arms and Small Unit Swarming Tactics as Tools of Terror...Are We Up To the Challenge?
- Positive Leadership: Invest in People Building a Culture of Innovation
- Harnessing The Street Cops Wisdom: Taking Whole of Conflict...And Effective Full Spectrum Responses
- Beyond Active Response: An Operational Concept for Police Counterterrorism Response
- The Badge: Much More Than a Piece of Medal
- Wellbeing Check to Knife Attack: Anticipation-The Double Edged Sword and its Affect on Winning and Losing, Up Close and Personal
- Tactical IQ: Fast Transients Maneuvers and Manipulating the Tempo of Conflict
- Leadership By Wandering Around!
- Defeat into Victory: Battling a Tough Climate with Faith, Perseverance and Lessons Learned
- Evolving Threats and the Fourth Generation Warfare Problem Here at Home
- We were ready, they weren't...40 + Years after Newhall, Are We Applying Lessons Learned?
- When Violence Prevention Fails, Planning Must Enhance Strategy
- After Action Review: Is It a Tool Used to Learn and Become More Effective or a Tool Used to Punish?
- Maintaining Mental Calmness and Not Losing Our Cool
- Evolution of Strategy and Tactics to Ongoing Deadly Action "Active Shootings" and Operational Art
- Tactical IQ: Interaction, Insight and Imagination, and Initiative...The Building Blocks of Police Operational Art
- Coffee and Conversation: Is "Officer Friendly" a Factor to Consider in Engagements with Our Adversary?
- "Sharpening Our Orientation" and Reducing Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
- Coffee and Conversation: Police Make Mistakes But Seldom Admit Them! What's Reasonable?
- The Tactical Decision Maker: The Devil's Definitely in the Details
- "Self Awareness" The Forgotten Attribute of Decision Making
- Coffee and Conversation: Issues that Affect Law Enforcement and Security: Walking our Talk to Officer Safety
- Coffee and Conversation: Issues that Affect Law Enforcement and Security: The Inevitable Failure of Suburbia?
- Officer Created Jeopardy: Reduce it with a Strategic and Tactical Mind
- Law Enforcement and the Utility of Force...Why Cops Can't Shoot Like the Lone Ranger?
- Tactics: Applying Methods to Madness
- Dealing with Conflict, Violence and Crises: by Fred Leland
Baltimore Police Sergeants Training Using Adaptive Leadership Methodology with Don Vandergriff's AAR
Submitted by Fred on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 10:00am.
Don Vandergriff has applied the principles of the adaptive leadership methodology successfully throughout the Army and he continues to do so in the Army, the Marine Corps and now he is bringing these methods to a modern metropolitan police department specifically the Baltimore Police Department.
Most of you that know me have had an introduction in Don’s work through the courses I have designed and applied in trainings I have been privileged to facilitate through the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee in Basic Sergeants School and in use of force workshops during In-service training. Dons ideas and his mentorship have been instrumental in these teachings. I believe this is how we should be leading and training law enforcement if we truly want to raise the bar of professionalism and perform with excellence in handling the problems and crises we deal with.
Criminals are evolving and the threats they pose are much more serious and asymmetrical. Hybrid forms in methods of operations, technology and the reasons why “motive” and “intent” behind why criminals do what they do are all the more prevalent creating an atmosphere where the frontline street officers and leaders must adapt more quickly if we in law enforcement are to gain the advantage.
Don was nice enough to forward me his after action review of the training conducted down in Baltimore. He also told me to share it with all of you who frequent this site so that the lessons learned through Baltimore PDs initiative spread throughout the law enforcement community. Note the candor and frankness of the AAR the way they should be conducted.
Adaptive Leadership methodology and Outcomes Based training is CHANGE from law enforcements normal way of leading and training and with change comes some descent but the feedback and buy in from the top and from the rank and file have all been outstanding and mostly positive, especially once cops experience it first hand.
Open minds are key to creating and nurturing a learning organization. Learning organizations are key to dealing with adversaries who through history have shown and continue to show they learn and adapt daily. Its law enforcements job to set the tempo and climate within their jurisdictions through proactive and coactive policing. Here is the way of getting this done.
The Vandergriff After Action Review
TO: Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld, Lieutenant Parker Elliott, Facilitators of Baltimore Police Department Sergeants Leaders Course, Sergeant Dennis Raferty
CC: Mr. Adam Walinsky
SUBJECT: Vandergriff Review of Baltimore Police Sergeants Course, review of course of action, discussions with cadre, and observations of leader development during fourth and fifth cohorts three days of course November 22-14, 2010.
1) Purpose: Mr. Vandergriff provide feedback in assisting Baltimore Police Commissioner and cadre in creating and evolving an innovative sergeants course that prepares officers of character to police in a 4th generation environment.
2) Findings: The Sergeants Course is clearly having a positive impact on the near term and long term health of the Baltimore Police Department. The sergeants attending the course are beginning to show competence and confidence in 21st Century policing. It is hard to believe how few of the sergeant students have had this quality of problem solving development prior to this course. Almost everyone of the students I talked to in this session responded with how much they were getting from this course, particularly the training offered in week 3. A lot of senior sergeants told me that, “I wish I had this when I made sergeant.” In order to be successful in dealing with policing in the 21st Century against the varied threats, individual officers must be developed and become confident and competence in dealing with complex problems.
a) Summary: Observing the 3rd week saw the beginning of a cultural change with the application of a new leader development model in place of the “competency” learning model techniques being used today in both learning institutions and most organizations. The Adaptive Leader Methodology (ALM) is cultural rather than a prescribed list of procedures and exercises. The facilitators were clearly developing adaptability using the experiential learning model to teach the Rapid Decision-Making (RDM) process focused on development of strength of character, specifically moral courage while using complicated individual and team tasks as the vehicle. All sessions closed with good AARs, and student feedback on the subjects taught.
b) Observations: Lieutenants Hyatt and Schludergerg are outstanding teachers and did a great job over the three day period (they were not present for the last day, the 24th, but other Sergeant Course facilitators did a great job overseeing the training). Instructor attitude and knowledge, confidence, are outstanding, and it is easier to learn how to facilitate from this prospective than not being knowledgeable and confident. The students actually were motivated by his enthusiasm.
1) Monday 22 Nov-Tactical Situations and Barricades (classroom phase). Lieutenants Hyatt and Schludergerg did an outstanding job with this classroom period, and used the Case Study Method by having the students learn from both good and bad examples of other police forces. They ended the day’s class with situational exercise allowing the students to learn through doing. Their approach had many layers. Thus, when it is taught well, each student will naturally find the layer that appeals to him and thus, regardless of his level of preparation or familiarity with the subject, will find something of value.
The ability to make good decisions is, in part, a function of having a stock of mental models that a decision-maker can compare to the problem in front of him. (Psychologist Gary Klein calls this a “repertoire of patterns.”) Whatever else is being taught, a well-taught case will add to the “repertoire of patterns” in each student’s mind.
Marshall Mcluhan was right: “the medium is the message.” Thus, as the case method is a medium that celebrates both story-telling and decision-making, its use sends the message that these things are important features of a Police culture.
(a) Whatever the subject at hand, a good case well taught also fosters the following virtues:
(b) Enthusiasm for learning, whether in or out of the classroom
(c) Curiosity and the habit of seeking out information
(f) “Joy in taking responsibility” (the willingness to make a decision that serves the common good, particularly in an ambiguous situation.
(g) An understanding of history
(i) Critical thinking
(k) The ability to explain the rationale behind one’s decisions
2) Tuesday 23 Nov-Room Clearing and Building Cover Exercise. Here the students got to master the basics—clearing a building and a room, as well as learning the “move or hold” method. These fundamentals that build toward tools to use in decision making. I got to observe every team go through every aspect of this and was impressed with the one on one mentorship shown by the facilitators. Lieutenant Schludergerg brought in SWAT personnel to assist in the development, and this greatly enhanced learning with a low instructor to student ratio, usually one to four. What is good about this is the interaction between special units and patrol, building a bridge between the two.
3) Wed 24 Nov-Active Shooter and Free Play Force on Force exercise: This period was made more intense with the use of SIMMUNITIONS.
(a) Active Shooter Free Play: Sections of four students, with a TAC officer went through an Active Shooter drill several times, while also applying the tactical approach of “move or hold.” It was good that the students were able to learn from their mistakes because initially most stuck to “hold” prior to the TAC pushing them through. The TAC also improved the training by adding the use of a “chalk talk” prior to and after each team ran through their problem. This approach uses a chalk board drawing where the TAC walks the team through what they might do, seeing a picture speaks a thousand words. The facilitators changed the conditions each time in order to challenge the students and keeping it from being a rote process. Every student team improved throughout the morning. The Sergeants also are learning, not just here, but throughout the entire Sergeants Course, the value of teamwork and lateral communications with other professionals in order to solve the complex problems they face.
(b) Team Force on Force Free Play: The students learned two valuable lessons, communication and teamwork. In addition, the need for a solid physical fitness program was brought up by several students after only one iteration. I loved the use of competition during this phase as well. At the end of the day, there was a clear winner and loser, with each understanding why they won or lost. I would recommend an AAR after each iteration, instead of one after the entire period. Though, I observed several students standing to the side after they had fought, going over what they did right or wrong.
(4) After Action Reviews. Improved throughout the period of observation. The one that ended the training on Tuesday and Wed were outstanding. I also saw outstanding uses of mentorship, particularly by Lieutenant Hyatt toward students during the room clearing exercises.
a) Evolution: Officers are discovering how much more they need to know to be successful, while gaining more confidence. They have also discovered that they need to stay on a disciplined regime of physical fitness. Many of the officers were exhausted after the Tuesday and Wed training sessions, and remarked how they had to get back to doing physical training and stop some bad habits, such as smoking.
4) The way ahead (these are works in progress):
a) Strategic Information Plan must be created and executed to show off the course, the Commissioner should meet weekly with the cadre and with the students at the end of the course to update this plan and talk about the way ahead. This is the Commissioner’s course and the main effort on how he is going to evolve the culture of his organization. This includes articles written or signed by the Commissioner and Lieutenant Parker (or anyone who wants to do it in the course), and published in a professional journal.
b) Develop a follow up plan to see how the Sergeants who have graduated from the course also use what they learned to be better. This approach should now reach into other areas of the Police Academy, to include the police recruit training as well as in-service training.
c) After the Sergeants, then run all Lieutenants through the course, and eventually the majors and members of staffs.
d) Develop graduations standards to select an honor graduate as well as deal with non performing students. After this session, I believe more than ever, that the facilitators and course director should be able to identify non-performing and weak sergeants, allowing the department to take action to keep them from leading people.
e) Bring in guest speakers, ensuring that they will reinforce what you are trying to produce through the course.
f) Add Physical Training and Nutrition instruction to POI. I know police officers work long hours, but physical fitness has to be part of the whole person concept in regard to strength of character parallel to critical thinking (mental cognitive skills). Physical fitness and eating right must become part of one’s daily routine. I would recommend that innovative physical fitness be done for one hour every other day. The U.S. Army Physical Fitness Center of Excellence at Carlisle Barracks, PA (home of U.S. Army War College) provides excellent material on this subject. It is surprisingly easier than we realize. I went through the course in November 2009.
5) Conclusion: In the three days I attended the training, students were always in a situation conducive to the development of personal initiative and adaptability. Everyone took an active role in the course. This consisted of learning how to evaluate their peers through other students leadership and team work in the exercises where adaptability was or was not demonstrated. This served two objectives: demonstrated experiential learning and kept students actively and positively engaged in all aspects of the course.
Donald E. Vandergriff
Major, U.S. Army retired
Maverick Leadership LLC