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  1. #1

    Default The Importance of Contextualization: Part II

    A little over two years ago I posted this thread on contextualization:

    The synopsis, in short, is with proper contextualization we can influence outcome. In the time since that post I've been working monthly in our Kill House with new recruits and seasoned veterans alike. Like force-on-force, the Kill House is a true test of applications and lessons learned. Our agency issues high capacity 9mm handguns and our range qualifications are all designed around increased volume of fire. The deputies carry at least three magazines on their belt plus one in the weapon. The last two years on the range has taught me they tend to be liberal with their application of projectiles to the target and I've certainly got no problem with that. However, always searching for ways to make more with less I've continued the idea of contextualization mentioned in the previous thread.

    Based on Kill House experiments under increased physical fatigue and mental stress, I've come to believe, albeit unscientifically, that we can positively influence the outcome of our engagement in regards to accuracy and speed if we contextualize ourselves to the critical nature of those requirements. Here's what I've been doing and you can judge for yourself:

    I've been setting up the Kill House with two rooms of active shooters and hostages. The deputies are forced to run a quarter mile in full gear then after they get to the front door of the Kill House we've been supplying them a duty pistol like their own with five rounds. They're told there are two active shooters in the Kill House, they're wearing body armor, and only head shots are permissible. They're also told the shots are happening right now and they've got just seconds to engage and kill the shooters. Then....they go in.

    What I've found:

    1. When they know they're ammunition supply is limited they make the hits count.
    2. When they know only head shots are permissible they make solid head shot hits.
    3. When they know they only have seconds to engage they move fast, but they still maintain reasonable tactical awareness for the situation.

    Scientific? No, but I find it interesting.

    When we don't contextualize the event here's what we find when we do an active shooter in the Kill House:

    1. They shoot a lot of ammunition and miss a lot.
    2. They shoot for center of mass and hit all over the torso.
    3. They move too slow, lose track of the objective, and get hung up on corners.

    The original exercise was one to get the deputies to understand their lower capacity back-up guns were still capable of keeping them in the fight and we've just taken it up a level. I do think if I sit down with a squad explain the situation they're going into it makes a difference - the contextualization.

    So, each night I have my sergeants across the city brief their squads on what's currently going on. They're briefed on officer safety issues, increased threats, what we're seeing on traffic stops and other items which help remove them from their normal life and contexualize them to the dangers of police work for the next 13.5 hours. It seems to be working.

    So, for what it is worth, maybe next time you go to the range try downloading your pistol, take yourself out of your comfort zone, minimize your allowable kill zone, and see if you can perform at the level your tell yourself you must. I'll bet you can.

    I just got a text on this post as to why we want to train our people for limited round count, being by themselves, etc. For those of you who aren't aware, there is a distict difference between a Police Officer and a Deputy Sheriff. We, the Deputies, get the shitty areas of town, the rural areas, poor equipment and no backup. So, why do we train for the worst possible scenario? I want the lone Deputy Sheriff, whose backup is 45 minutes out, feeling good about himself when he confronts three drug mules with security in the desert. Is it ideal? No. Do we still have to do our job under less than ideal situations? Yes.

    I remember reading the Use of Force form written by a deputy who shot and killed two security for a drug mule operation out by himself in the desert. I asked him how he felt about it and he said he felt great as he knew he had a rifle. We teach our guys to do more with less. We've just found the winning factor isn't necessarily equipment but mind set.

    - J
    Last edited by JonathanNobody; 02-08-2019 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    It's what briefing should be: Here's what happened, here's what's happening, here's what to look out for. Here's what you need to remember.

    And here's how it all affects you.

    We all do this, or should, before we step out the door regardless of profession.

    Spontaneity is overrated. Surprise is often unpleasant.

    So fill the cup.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    355. And a wakeup.

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