Finding alternatives to surprise training. (News and Trends).Last February a North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. sheriffs deputy killed one Green Beret and wounded another during a training exercise. The incident has rekindled questions in the private sector about what form antirobbery training should take.
In the North Carolina case, soldiers were performing role-playing exercises in civilian clothing when the deputy stopped their vehicle. Apparently believing that the deputy was in on the exercise, they tried to disarm him. The deputy, who was not aware of the training, fired in self-defense (Law) in protection of self, - it being permitted in law to a party on whom a grave wrong is attempted to resist the wrong, even at the peril of the life of the assailiant.
See also: Self-defense .
The issue was debated recently in an industry e-mail discussion group. "I consider mock robbery training with the people being trained as participants in the robbery as being fraught with potential problems," said Gary Hay, a Brisbane, Australia, security consultant specializing in armed robbery prevention. Louis R. Mizell, who maintains an extensive criminal database, agrees, noting that role-playing snafus have plagued a wide range of private and public sector simulations. "During the last decade, I have recorded 142 incidents in which training mistakes by security and law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). have resulted in death or injury, psychological trauma Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, damage can be measured in physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which affect the person's , public panic and hysteria, unnecessary evacuations, tarnished professional reputations, and lawsuits," Mizell says.
Rick Ottenstein, CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Workplace Trauma Center trauma center
A medical facility that is designated to treat severe physical trauma as a result of the specialized training of its staff and the availability of appropriate diagnostic and treatment tools. and coauthor of The Armed Robbery Training Manual, says that surprising employees with robberies that turn out to be training exercises is "totally inappropriate." He points out that the risks go beyond traumatizing employees. "[There is also] the possibility that if there is a real robbery the employees may think it is another mock robbery and not take it seriously, thus putting themselves at risk of retaliation RETALIATION. The act by which a nation or individual treats another in the same manner that the latter has treated them. For example, if a nation should lay a very heavy tariff on American goods, the United States would be justified in return in laying heavy duties on the manufactures and from the robber."
Howard J. Mellon, an attorney and police officer, also advises against surprise exercises. A better approach, he says, "is a briefing of what is going to happen, then the exercise and a debrief de·brief
tr.v. de·briefed, de·brief·ing, de·briefs
1. To question to obtain knowledge or intelligence gathered especially on a military mission.
2. , with the ability to screen out employees who might have problems participating in the exercise."
Even this training must be closely planned and monitored, however. Ottenstein advises that participants sign releases and that a signal be created that would stop the exercise.
Experts urge trainers to know their actors well. Mellon recounts how one trainer hired an actor to confront a police officer during training. The actor went too far, was subdued by the officer, and then sued the agency. "The agency settled for a large sum, and there was the strong belief that the actor intended for this to happen so that he could sue."
Other trainers show a video of a previous mock robbery, then advise students that they can opt out of the exercise, especially if they have medical conditions See carpal tunnel syndrome, computer vision syndrome, dry eyes and deep vein thrombosis. . But videos can disturb people who have been through robberies before. Hay says that he allows these people to turn away from specific scenes, while he watches them "intently."
Even that's not perfect, he says. "I had one adverse reaction and that person later said they were most surprised at their feelings, but the mock robbery was almost a copy of one [an actual robbery] they were in six years earlier."