I recently hosted/attended the 3-day Force Encounters class presented by Craig Geis and David Blake of the California Training Institute. Afterwards I approached Mr. Geis and Mr. Blake and asked who at POST I should contact if I wished to pass on some thoughts about the class, and they suggested I contact you and a few others.
While discussing the various topics presented my classmates and I began to kick around the idea that this kind of information should be on the mandatory list for CA LEO training. This surprised many of us, as the general opinion in the room was that much of the “mandatory” training we are forced to watch usually leaves very little, if any, impression on us. More importantly, we also thought this class in particular should be mandatory before a POST Supervisory certificate is awarded. Having been a CA LEO for nearly 18 years, and having attended thousands of hours of training, I can honestly say that Force Encounters Analysis was the most useful, and perhaps most important, single class I have attended since the Basic Academy. The subject matter is critically important for those who conduct after action reports, and it can be equally important for those who find themselves in a use of force encounter because it allows them to better describe and document the incidents. Being better at either, or both, of those two things can only do good things for the future of CA Law Enforcement. The flyer for the class has a long list of who should attend. Frankly, I have seen similar flyers for many classes and often left them thinking that the shotgun approach was geared only toward filling a class with as many bodies as possible and, though I had heard different, went to this class with the same idea. By the final day of the class I was convinced that the job description list of who should attend is not long enough! There should be no limit on the number of persons allowed to attend this class, and everyone from DA’s, to Civil Attorneys should attend as well (there was one of each in our class).
In my career I can safely say this is the only time I have ever felt compelled to contact a POST representative and convey my thoughts on a POST certified class. I can only hope that is short email is the beginning of a longer conversation, or process, that all CA LEO’s will benefit from.