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Showing posts from April, 2013

The Generalist versus The Specialist

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There exists a conspiracy against the Generalist. Today's culture rewards those who Specialize: doctors, athletes, teachers, cops. Being labeled a Generalist comes with ridicule of being luke-warm, a moderate, uncommitted, or without passion. Those images are false. They are hallucinations. Time and time again, life penalizes the Specialist. We never learn from our mistakes.

Striking a balance between being a Generalist or a Specialist hinges on one factor: one's confidence in the future. The equation is quite simple -- the greater the predictability of approaching problems, the more one should become the Specialist; the less foresight one has, the more benefit in being the Generalist.

This axiom holds for any aspect of life: financial investment, medicine, emergency preparedness, physical fitness, backcountry camping, education, gambling, and of course....law enforcement operations.


With a firm understanding of the spectrum between the Generalist and the Specialist, police of…

Media Resources for "The Survival Podcast"

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Many thanks to Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast (episode #1118) for hosting us on his program. Here are some photographs and links for the podcast listeners:
A discussion on Simple Machines can be found here. Ideas on "concept" based training and thinking can be found here. An overview of The Illinois ModelLEOpSys can be found here. A handful of these below photos should help listeners imagine the concepts.

Police Operational Philosophy

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When I ask police officers or policy agency executives about their personal or organizational operational philosophy, I am usually met by blank stares. For most, it's the first time such a question has been posed. Worse yet, it's the first time they've even considered such. Cops, in general, don't like to engage in discussions of conceptual issues. Administrators often confuse their department's ambiguous mission statement as an operational philosophy.

The first step to understanding operational philosophy is to explain the options along a spectrum. This may best be accomplished by using a scenario:
An officer stops a car for erratic driving. The driver is clearly drunk. When the officer orders the man out of the car, he refuses. The driver becomes belligerent, "justifying" his refusal through a poorly-designed legal argument. Even when the officer explains to the driver that he is under arrest, the driver disagrees.  At one end of the spectrum, the offic…

Process versus Outcome

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Professional poker players lose to less-skilled amateurs. Not nearly as often as the pros win, but it happens. Poker is a card game combining both statistical probability and the ability to read opponents' minds. And with any contest involving risk, an experienced player can lose out to a slim chance.

Professional poker players use a methodical process of calculating mathematical odds -- and apply the process every time the situation changes throughout any given hand....like when additional cards are dealt or an opponent folds. The new circumstances require a reorientation to the problem at hand. So in essence, the process is the Orient and Decision phases of the OODA Loop (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act).
In law enforcement, police officers must orient themselves continually to changes in situations and problems. By using a unified method, such as The Illinois Model™, officers use one defined, structured, and prioritized process. And it's a process that accounts for ethical, legal…

LEOpSys: a vision for policing

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The idea of a complete "system" for law enforcement is grandeur. Imagine a fully-integrated program spanning the topics of: report writing, supervision, policy and procedure development, firearms, case law, operational planning, tactical ethics, courtroom testimony, incident command, investigations, and tactics. 
Is it possible to weave these seemingly diverse aspects of law enforcement into a singular model? 
Considering we are doing that now with The Illinois Model™, I contend...yes!  We are bringing together subject matter experts from what were once completely isolated fields of policing, to design a comprehensive law enforcement operations system, or LEOpSys™(lee-OP-sis).