Just mere life is not victory, just mere death is not defeat.

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Sunday Evening Thoughts

How do you know you are competent at a particular skill?  Is it being able to meet an on-demand metric in a static environment?  Is it the consistent performance of a particular skill at a specific level of competence?  What is the goal of developing a particular skill set?  The goal, obviously is to be "ready" for a particular situation or circumstance.  This is inherently the purpose of any type skill set training paradigm.  The real question is, how do you know what skill set is worthy of your particular time investment and how much effort should you invest in any particular skill.  What metric do you personally use to develop your personal training concept and methodology.  More important than the above, are the skill sets you are training going to be used when you are under the pressure of real time violence and are those training concepts an investment you've already made?

Every officer who has gone through a police academy or re-certification of use of force in the last fifteen or so years has heard of the Tueller Rule (drill), yet we still see officers hesitate to use force.  Is this a specific issue with overall training? Lack of real world experience of violence?  Just watch the first 2 minutes or so of the above video.  How close do you believe that this suspect was able to get to the deputy before the deputy began to shoot?  There are two issues, first is the fact that if the suspect wanted to actually stab the deputy he likely would have been able to despite being shot.  The other issue is that you just do not know if shooting the suspect is going to stop them.  The fact is that pistol ammunition is generally ineffective in immediately stopping a human adversary.  If we cite court precedence and previous ruling on this type of use of force, it has been clearly shown that a LEO can use deadly force when a suspect is failing to drop a knife (or other dangerous weapon) and begins to close the distance.  At what point does a LEO have the responsibility to begin to shoot?  Is this how you train?  What is your personal "shoot threshold" ?

If you train with people, like your friends, partner, spouse, or tribe, have you trained in such a way as to understand the natural movement of a violent confrontation.  In the above body camera video, the two officers created a crossfire situation for themselves, the one officer whose body camera is being shown created a "back against the wall" or "dead end" scenario for himself.  The officers were able to successfully overcome the threat, but did their training reflect the possibility of this particular situation?  How many apartments/hallways do they have to go into on a daily basis in that area?  Would their tactics change if they were usually in a rural area or a stand alone house?  These are all things which need to be discussed, trained, applied and training upgraded as needed. 

Confined spaces are very difficult to navigate during violent encounters.  This is one aspect I can say without hesitation which is completely neglected by most PD's as it involves a higher-than-normal level of competency and proficiency.  When the concept of "shoot-throughs" is talked about most top brass have a small seizure of chest pain.  Yet, this is exactly the type of situation which could have turned extremely deadly if the officers did not hesitate to use force when the situation took a turn for the worst.  How often do you see training offered in this type of paradigm?  Confined spaces, shoots and no-shoots, active role players who are unpredictable.  Everyone wants to do a square range hostage target headshot, but what happens when the hostage is on the ground, bleeding and there may be a shot but it takes a certain level of skill to understand the concepts required to successfully mitigate the situation.  We are always around confined spaces, cars, houses, buildings, malls, etc.  Why do we not train accordingly?  Why is it something which isn't constantly done in the training world?