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Non-LE professional Police Trainers


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  • Non-LE professional Police Trainers

    I am a regular person, not in LE. I have some concerns about the semi-professional world of police work. I saw that a writer who used to give lectures as a forensics expert is soon going to publish a "manual on cults" for police departments, and I would like to see a discussion from professionals about this. I have a very low opinion of this particular writer based on my own experience with his subject and my own knowledge of legitimate investigation/help procedures.

    My concern is that many private citizens would see this book and assume this person is a well-educated expert with more knowledge than their own departments.

  • #2
    Most of the time law enforcment agencies have particular individuals come in and give lectures because of their experience, training, and expertise in the field. Sometimes they may not be as good as some law enforcement agencies believe and it becomes apparent during the training. It is something that happens. Just because your opinion of the particular speaker is different from that of the police department involved, does not mean that the agency is wasting their time. If the person has many credentials, but their lecture is far from accurate, it is picked up on, and they are not invited back again. Lesson learned.

    I would be careful with your label of "semi-professional" world of police work. To make such an overall generalization based on one person you feel should not be training law enforcement is unwarranted and juvenile.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


    • #3

      Wouldn't it be this writer's business what he chooses to write about? Sorry, but it's not possible for someone to have a discussion on a subject we know nothing about. (unless you're President Bush of course)
      "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson



      • #4
        I once had a similiar discussion with a fellow officer. While many of our (the LE community) instructors may not be officers that doesn't mean we can't learn from them. The person you're speaking of may not measure up to your standards but he may be appropriate for the Agency involved. Many Depts. have young/inexperienced officers that might be able to learn SOMETHING as opposed to not getting any info on the subject--- AS to the "semi-professional world of law enforcement"---why do consider it only "semi-professional"?


        • #5
          Police Trainers

          Law Enforcement is one of those professions that has a critical interest in learning from other professions and disciplines. I'm not referring to someone, unqualified, lecturing me on how to police. I am referring, for example, to a Forensic Pathologist telling me what to look for at a crime scene. Perhaps a Haz-Mat guy from the EPA giving me a heads-up on dealing with a chemical spill. The list goes on. Cults, for example, depending upon their philosophies and beliefs, could pose a threat to a community. A law enforcement agency would do well to learn all about a cult in that catagory. It's been said that "knowledge is power". There is much truth to that. I certainly can't pass on the qualifications of the person you're referencing, but, in general, we'll take knowledge from just about any source willing to share it with us.


          • #6
            I've found that most "experts" become known as such due to about 25% knowledge and 75% marketing. For instance, many departments will have one or more "experts by appointment" who are the designated go-to people in that subject area. This does not necessarily mean that they are the best informed people available. They were the people that caught the eye of the chief executive of the agency, and qualifications are a secondary factor.

            A classic example of this occurred during the state trial of the officers involved in the Rodney King incident. LAPD's designated use of force expert (an individual that appears to have no friends at the cop level, going by the people I have spoken to) testified for the prosecution as to how the officers' actions were grossly out of line and unreasonable. Then the defense's expert came on, an LAPD sergeant with many more years of street experience and a well-respected academy instructor. He devastated the department's expert. He radiated credibility and was a major factor, in my opinion, in the officers obtaining an acquittal.

            The same is true of people offering law enforcement training from the private sector. Some of the best and most knowledgeable instructors I know are people whose names you wouldn't recognize, and there are very well-known people who just steal material from others, or teach stuff that is just impractical or dangerous. I know an individual who represents himself as "the world's foremost expert in {a criminal area}" (I won't be more specific because he's a litigious sort), and he has never been an LEO, never participated in a criminal investigation, and in fact not done much but promote himself. He makes a handsome living selling his "expertise." Radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has a doctorate, but it's in physiology, not psychology, counseling, or any other area particularly germane to what she discusses on her program.

            One need not be a cop to offer police training. All of the people that write for Officer.com are subject matter experts (I see to that personally), but not all of them are cops. Michelle Perin is a former 911 telecommunicator and a long-term police spouse, Pam Kulbarsh is a psychiatric nurse, and Valerie Van Brocklin an attorney. They are all very knowledgeable in their fields, but they'll be the first ones to tell you that they aren't cops, and have never been cops. In the end, you have to evaluate the source of your information on real-world qualifications, not hype.
            Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.


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