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.Why can’t the officer stand and talk to me face-to-face, like a normal human being? The reason is that it would be virtually impossible for me to pull a gun on the officer if he’s standing behind me.First of all, the officer is shining his flashlight on my lap, so he can see where my hands are and whether I’m going for a gun.And even if I get my hands on the gun, I have to twist almost entirely around in my seat, lean out the window, and fire around the door pillar at the officer (and remember, I’m blinded by his brights)-and all this in his full view.The police procedure, in other words, is for my benefit: it means that the only way the officer will ever draw his gun on me is if I engage in a drawn-out and utterly unambiguous sequence of actions.t the officer stand and talk to me face-to-face, like a normal human being? The reason is that it would be virtually impossible for me to pull a gun on the officer if he’s standing behind me.First of all, the officer is shining his flashlight on my lap, so he can see where my hands are and whether I’m going for a gun.And even if I get my hands on the gun, I have to twist almost entirely around in my seat, lean out the window, and fire around the door pillar at the officer (and remember, I’m blinded by his brights)-and all this in his full view.The police procedure, in other words, is for my benefit: it means that the only way the officer will ever draw his gun on me is if I engage in a drawn-out and utterly unambiguous sequence of actions.Fyfe once ran a project in Dade County, Florida, where there was an unusually high number of violent incidents between police officers and civilians.You can imagine the kind of tension that violence caused.Community groups accused the police of being insensitive and racist.The police responded with anger and defensiveness; violence, they said, was a tragic but inevitable part of police work.It was an all-too-familiar script.Fyfe’s response, though, was to sidestep that controversy and conduct a study.He put observers in squad cars and had them keep a running score of how the officers’ behavior matched up with proper training techniques.“It was things like, did the officer take advantage of available cover?” he said.“We train officers to make themselves the smallest possible target, so you leave it to the bad guy to decide whether they’ll be shooting or not.So we were looking at things like, did the officer take advantage of available cover or did he just walk in the front door? Did he keep his gun away from the individual at all times? Did he keep his flashlight in his weak hand? In a burglary call, did they call back for more information or did they just say ten-four? Did they ask for backup? Did they coordinate their approach?-you know, you be the shooter, I’ll cover you.Did they take a look around the neighborhood? Did they position another car at the back of the building? When they were inside the place, did they hold their flashlights off to the side?-because if the guy happens to be armed, he’s going to shoot at the flashlight.On a traffic stop, did they look at the back of the car before approaching the driver? These kind of things.”What Fyfe found was that the officers were really good when they were face-to-face with a suspect and when they had the suspect in custody.In those situations, they did the “right” thing 92 percent of the time.But in their approach to the scene they were terrible, scoring just 15 percent.That was the problem.They didn’t take the necessary steps to steer clear of temporary autism.And when Dade County zeroed in on improving what officers did before they encountered the suspect, the number of complaints against officers and the number of injuries to officers and civilians plummeted.“You don’t want to put yourself in a position where the only way you have to defend yourself is to shoot someone,” Fyfe says.“If you have to rely on your reflexes, someone is going to get hurt-and get hurt unnecessarily.If you take advantage of intelligence and cover, you will almost never have to make an instinctive decision.”7.“Something in My Mind Just Told Me I Didn’t Have to Shoot Yet” What is valuable about Fyfe’s diagnosis is how it turns the usual discussion of police shootings on its head.The critics of police conduct invariably focus on the intentions of individual officers.They talk about racism and conscious bias.The defenders of the police, on the other hand, invariably take refuge in what Fyfe calls the split-second syndrome: An officer goes to the scene as quickly as possible.He sees the bad guy.There is no time for thought.He acts.That scenario requires that mistakes be accepted as unavoidable.In the end, both of these perspectives are defeatist.They accept as a given the fact that once any critical incident is in motion, there is nothing that can be done to stop or control it.And when our instinctive reactions are involved, that view is all too common.But that assumption is wrong.Our unconscious thinking is, in one critical respect, no different from our conscious thinking: in both, we are able to develop our rapid decision making with training and experience.Are extreme arousal and mind-blindness inevitable under conditions of stress? Of course not.De Becker, whose firm provides security for public figures, puts his bodyguards through a program of what he calls stress inoculation.“In our test, the principal [the person being guarded] says, ‘Come here, I hear a noise,’ and as you come around the corner-boom!-you get shot.It’s not with a real gun.The round is a plastic marking capsule, but you feel it.And then you have to continue to function.Then we say, ‘You’ve got to do it again,’ and thistime, we shoot you as you are coming into the house.By the fourth or fifth time you get shot in simulation, you’re okay.” De Becker does a similar exercise where his trainees are required to repeatedly confront a ferocious dog.“In the beginning, their heart rate is 175.They can’t see straight.Then the second or third time, it’s 120, and then it’s 110, and they can function.” That kind of training, conducted over and over again, in combination with real-world experience, fundamentally changes the way a police officer reacts to a violent encounter.you’re okay.” De Becker does a similar exercise where his trainees are required to repeatedly confront a ferocious dog.“In the beginning, their heart rate is 175.They can’t see straight.Then the second or third time, it’s 120, and then it’s 110, and they can function.” That kind of training, conducted over and over again, in combination with real-world experience, fundamentally changes the way a police officer reacts to a violent encounter.Mind reading, as well, is an ability that improves with practice.Silvan Tomkins, maybe the greatest mind reader of them all, was compulsive about practicing [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]