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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Uninformed talk, the Experts train

Uninformed and unaware -- no problem

Self-defined experts criticize and protest in Costa Mesa. Observers ostentatiously offer their “expertise” about everything: politics, environmental science, water production, and even law-enforcement. The cost of uneducated mistakes – usually -- is too high to let them try out their ideas in the field.

Some residents are insisting that an officer acted precipitously and brutally because he shot a man in Santa Ana. The deceased was homeless but he sometimes stored his belongings in Costa Mesa

We don't know the circumstances that led to the shooting; we just know that police confronted an upset man. These “experts” insist that the police must have erred – they aren't waiting for the facts from the investigation. (Pilot article)

The cops' jobs

Confronting agitated and assaultive people is only a small, small part of a Law Enforcement Officer’s (LEO) job. But, there is a way to develop and test ability in that area. Police practice making decisions under stress in role plays and with simulators; generally, the simulators are not available to anyone except LEO and military personnel. However, a local business has opened such a simulator to civilians.

"Street Citizens" can train 

Artemis Defense Institute* in Lake Forrest has three “stages” where realistic scenarios unfold for the students and their instructors. LEO or not, they face challenging situations. And now the protesters can test the wisdom they use to criticize police decisions. They can, that is, if they are willing to face a physical rebuke – an 80K volt rebuke, at that.

Last Sunday, non-LEO OC citizens faced law enforcement scenarios in real time at the facility. They had to make shoot/no shoot decisions. And, when they made grossly wrong decisions, they received a stinging electrical shock to their backs. Nobody was killed in error, no responding officers were hurt – just a sting.


Is the pain following errors severe? Nope, about like a snap from a jumbo rubber band that lasts for a second or two, with some muscle-twitching in the surrounding tissue. No burns, no injuries. Even old geezers in the simulators survive.

Errors hurt, but not as much as a knife wound to the face or a bullet wound in the thigh. Cops train and retrain and retrain some more in simulators. Cops practice making decisions under stress over and over – and frequently.

Check out their expert opinions

The non-LEO “experts” who criticize the LEOs in Santa Ana and Anaheim and Costa Mesa would do well to test their theories and decision-making – before they berate cops who make decisions in real life. Folks who have their pictures taken demonstrating and expressing outrage at the cops should try making “shoot-Taser-club -run away” decisions – under stress and on their feet.  

We'd expect them to explore the realities of police decision-making if they actually wanted to find solutions – rather than attention. We're not betting that any of the complainers will be testing their theories anytime soon. 

They’ll surely continue to criticize decisions they don’t understand, though.

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