The Lewinski Lecture Series
The Lewinski Lecture Series was developed by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato, to recognize the contribution of Dr. Bill Lewinski and Force Science to a revolutionary, increased understanding of the myriad human performance elements that play a critical, often life-changing role in the high stress, rapidly unfolding encounters in which police professionals are often engaged. Dr. Bill Lewinski was invited to present the inaugural lecture in the Series.
In upcoming years, others who have made significant contributions in research to the advancement of law enforcement will be invited to present at this annual event.
NEW RESEARCH DEVELOPMENTS AT FORCE SCIENCE
The ultimate mission of Force Science is to advance performance and decision making in law enforcement.
In the police world the primary information we acquire about conflicts, with rare exception, such as LAPD’s use of force study in the 1990’s, is statistical, such as the distance between the officer and subject, number of rounds fired, etc. We need to delve much deeper into the dynamics of these encounters if we are to truly understand them.
For over two decades, Force Science has been doing just that by conducting research into the human dynamics of high stress police encounters involving the use of force. Initially this work sought to define the nature of the assaults, and officers’ responses, movements and reaction times and to then set criterion for the type and extent of training that officers need to effectively cope with these assaults.
As the research progressed it revealed information that was critical for force investigations and for a while that focus has also occupied Force Science.
Recently, Force Science has been able to focus on the foundations of training and tactics and has completed a three-year study on force training. This, combined with Force Science’s current and previous research, revealed significant insight into force training, particularly the kind and level of training provided to officers, how that training complies with modern principles of psychomotor skill training and the implications of this for decision training provided in both pre-service and in-service training.
The conclusion from this research and the analysis of actual and researched encounters is -- if officers are expected to perform as high functioning professionals, the police profession needs to significantly improve pre-service and in-service training for effective skill development on everything from communications to deadly force. Further, a new decision model is needed to guide and use as a basis for instruction.
From Force Science’s research it is abundantly clear that despite the current arguments about the difference, appropriateness and effectiveness of the Force Continuum and the Constitutional Model – these models are primarily effective as teaching and explanation tools, as they were intended. Any realistic decision model actually needs to assist in decision making in encounters that often unfold rapidly, are dynamic, visually and behaviorally complex, time compressed and with a high level of potential for death or serious injury.
This first lecture in the Lewinski Lecture Series presents a very brief summary of the research of Force Science. It presents the implications of this work on decision training and a new but well researched decision making model that has direct relevance for the police world. Implications of this more realistic decision model on training are discussed.