Showing posts from August, 2016

When We Started Treating our SHOOTERS Like THINKERS

It's been a half-dozen years since I became infected with the problem-based learning virus. Some call it ashiftin teaching style; I see it as a radical and revolutionary flip upside-down. My personal experience has beenthatpositive and significant. As have the results in our learners.
I joined the police department's firearms training unit in 2001. Immediately after receiving my instructor certificate, I began training police officers to be the best shooters they could be. I taught my shooters using the training techniques that I learned from my instructor school...which, predictably, where the same methods that my academy firearms instructors used on me.
It's the perpetual loop of "we teach the same way in which we were taught." I found myself recycling old drills. These were repetitive technical exercises - static marksmanship, reloading, clearing stoppages or malfunctions, shooting with opposite hands or from different body positions.Perfect practice made perfec…

Are You a Rule FOLLOWER or a Rule BREAKER?

Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
This question fascinates me. Even as an arguably false dichotomy, it highlights critical issues in individual decision-making, personal morals, written policies, group values, and organizational culture.
I vividly remember the first time a similar question was asked of me. I was a young police officer applying for a position on the regional SWAT team. I was seated alone, in the single chair, in the middle of the large meeting room. Oddly, it seemed as if half the lights were turned off. In front of me sat a panel of six police commanders and chiefs (many of whom I had never met before), each wearing his full formal uniform, behind a long table. To say I was anxious would be an understatement. 
After a few cookie-cutter interview formalities, one of the deputy chiefs dropped it: 

Is it ever acceptable to violate a direct order from a superior officer? Explain your answer. 
The question surprised me. Most young police officers wouldn't evenconsi…