Title: Adaptive Decision-Making For Law Enforcement
Location: Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute
Date: March 15, 2023
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
The law enforcement environment can often be described as one that is a non-linear, open-loop system, that happens at light-speed. One where time can be either friend or foe. Operating in this environment creates stress which affects decision-making. Within this time-compressed environment officers often feel they need to act because they are there, rather than allowing the circumstances of a call determine the urgency to act.
The question is how to provide a strategy for officer's to effectively control the stress response and to make lawful and ethical decisions? The answer is two-fold: with 1) Emotional Intelligence and 2) the use of thinking and mental models.
Emotional Intelligence helps in reducing the stress caused by non-linear, uncertain events. Being able to regulate emotions allows officers to make better decisions. The use of thinking and mental models (OODA, Cynefin, Adaptive Decision-making model) assists the officer in their sensemaking and decision-making capabilities. Students are taught to make decisions based on urgency or the need to take an action and within the Constitutional framework of the 4th Amendment. These components are a great compliment to any de-escalation strategy.