If you ask most veteran Law Enforcement Officers how long it takes to become a strong counter-narcotics or gang officer, you will find answers usually falling within a five to twelve year range, and usually more specifically around ten years. That is a significant amount of time required to train and develop to become and effective operator. The same concept applies to the military as well. Our Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) who have a wealth of experience that they have earned over the last decade of non-stop deployments are easily comparable to those veteran cops.
The reason that they have become so effective at identifying criminals and threats is due to their experience. As John Medina talks about in Brain Rules our ability to improvise and adapt in a constantly changing situation is due to a database of experiences and knowledge that are stored in our brain. In our course, we refer to these experiences as file folders. Veteran police officer and SNCOs have a larger database of file folders than the less experienced in our ranks.
Now that researchers have identified how we learn most effectively, the goal of educators and trainers must be on how to develop these file folders for the rest of the force. That is the intent of the video-based training. By understanding our experience dependent brain wiring, we can teach ourselves how to identify threats and criminals in less than the decade previously required. We can watch a video multiple times, each time picking up more information while solidifying and expanding our file folders. As that file folder (which is a metaphor for neuro-plasticity and the pathways that are created in our brain while learning) grows, so does our ability to recognize threats in real time.
The other benefit to the repetitious nature of video training is that our brain requires repetition to transition ideas from first exposure to solidified file folder. As identified in Brain Rules, to transition an idea from working memory to short-term memory, you need to repeat an idea within 30 seconds of first exposure and again with 120 minutes to allow that piece of knowledge to be stored in short-term memory. Additional repetition is needed to transition that skill from short-term to long-term memory. That is where the benefit of video training comes into play. You can watch the video over and over and over until you feel confident in your ability to identify that specific body language or threat indicator that would allow you to predict a threat left of bang.
Does it take time? Absolutely. But this is where your desire to succeed and out-perform your peers comes in. If you put in the time and are dedicated to mastering all that profiling has to offer, your ability to do this in real time will grow as well as your performance. It is only a matter of desire.
Thoughts on learning or have requests for videos to develop specific file folders? Let us know.