Force Science class – day 1 quick hits

This week I’m taking the 40 hour Force Science certification course held at DPS HQ in Austin. The course is attended by 80+ people from 40+ agencies, 10 states and 2 countries (one from Canada). Class is taught by 4 PhD’s, 2 MD’s and one “KdC” (as he described himself, aka a “knuckle dragging cop”).

The course opened with the DPS major who was hosting the course advising attendees to “avoid Dirty Sixth”. When cops tell other cops to avoid a part of town, pay attention.

The big focus of the course is explaining human behavior (physical and psychological) using results from research studies, to assist in understanding, explaining and training others in topics related to deadly force incidents.

Day 1 of the course included a session on anatomy from an MD, and presentation of a lot of material on measuring how long it takes to perform various skills, including

  • ready to target, finger on frame, on slide, at base of trigger guard (turns out all are within a few hundredths of a second)
  • gun to target from various ready positions (high, low, extended, compressed)
  • gun to target from seated and prone positions
  • gun to target from different angles
  • time to turn 90 and 180
  • time to take 1-6 steps with and without the extra weight of duty gear

All these time breakdowns are of great interest to me as they align with the time breakdowns documented in my recent book, and time breakdowns for movement that I’ve observed breaking down USPSA stages where movement was required.

As part of the course we are doing an in depth case study of an incident. Materials provided to the class include the full suite of reports, drawings, interviews, video, etc. that would exist for any incident investigated properly in the modern era.