Use of Force

Legally Justified – But Was it Avoidable?

The Crucial Question at the Core of Use of Force

07:00 am – 04:00 pm


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  • December 10, 2019
    7:00 am - 4:00 pm


CONTACT [email protected]


Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy, Room #2, 2300 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview, Illinois, 60026, United States

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Course Description

This 6-hour  online training course is delivered via Webex© and available to your agency for 30-Day Rental

For information please contact [email protected]

The 1989 the Graham v. Connor case established that the moment an officer uses force is all that matters when determining if it was objectively reasonable. Further, it determined that the moment could not be judged “with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” In other words, how that moment came to be matters not, only what was happening during it.

That said, this legal doctrine does not (and should not) preclude officers, trainers, and supervisors from examining cases with that 20/20 vision. With a goal of avoiding the avoidable, we should look backward from the moment force was used and honestly assess whether the officer, by action or lack of action, contributed to its ultimate need.

Legally Justified; But was it Avoidable analyzes dozens of recent use of force videos and focuses on the totality of the interaction. We dissect the behavior of the offender and more importantly, the thoughts and behavioral processes of the officer(s) involved. Specifically, we consider if poor or ill-advised tactics, ineffective communication, a lack of personal control and/or a misunderstanding of acute stress led the officer(s) to escalate the event unintentionally and unconsciously.

In this course we will discuss:

  • Force: Can it be avoided? How?
  • Powerful research: how stress breaks down your ability to process information
  • Handling pressure at the pivotal moment
  • Did poor tactics contribute to the need to shoot
  • Don’t throw fuel on the fire! Controlling the inner “idiot”
  • The overall goal and how stress diverts from that mission
  • Slowing things down can be your most powerful tactic
  • A hard look at the reason mistakes are being made
  • Cognitive deterioration leads to “Decision Decline”
  • Avoiding Behavioral and Content Loops
  • The Power of Mid-Event Disengagement


This class is a crash course in contemporary leadership skills and traits. It’s essential to those interested in learning… and great to those currently leading.
Officer Rivera, Salinas PD, CA

This is one of the best courses I’ve ever attended. I think it’s our responsibility to use mistakes to learn and not repeat them…. I plan on having my staff attend this course so they can share with our agency.

Training Captain – Orange County  Sheriff, FL

Excellent course. One of the best training classes I have attended in 20 years of law enforcement. I will be recommending everyone from my agency attends this.

Master Officer Aldridge – Clinton Police Department, UT

VERY beneficial for all personnel…The way the instructor presented the information AND post-discussion of the incidents was key to the success of the course. 

Captain Van Sant – Seminole Police Department