Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Marshals Service, in collaboration with the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, offers its 5-day Officer Safety Training – Human Performance (OST-HP) course to state and local law enforcement officers through the agency’s new Center of Excellence for Officer Safety and Wellness in Birmingham, Alabama, March 20-24.
Recognizing the increase in assaults directed at members of law enforcement and the concerns about violent crime across the country, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) took steps to enhance the safety and preparedness of law enforcement officers to save lives. This training is designed to enhance skills and mindsets to engage more effectively with citizens during routine interactions and enforcement operations.
“The evidence-based training is designed to improve the overall performance and decision-making of law enforcement officers during stressful encounters and to decrease the number of use-of-force situations while increasing the probability of successful non-violent outcomes,” said USMS Director Ronald L. Davis.
“The Department is investing in training of law enforcement that prioritizes officer safety and respect to the communities they serve across the nation,” said COPS Office Director Hugh T. Clements, Jr. “This officer safety training focuses on effective public safety practices that hones critical thinking and decision making during high-stress encounters.”
The OST-HP course, a hybrid of the agency’s High-Risk Fugitive Apprehension (HRFA) Training taken by deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers, immerses non-USMS task force law enforcement officers into real-world scenarios. Through several repetitions, the officers drill the scenarios and debrief with trainers to critique and understand their tactical responses. The feedback from trainers focuses on critical thinking during each response in order to employ a more effective solutions for the next repetition. The training helps officers understand how their bodies process information and perform during high-stress encounters and builds resilience and confidence that creates a better mindset and prepares them for possible real-world situations. The end goals of the course are to enhance the student's responses to stressful situations and imprint the solutions into their subconscious mind.
The upcoming OST-HP class includes 24 students representing 15 law enforcement agencies from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. The USMS is the federal government’s primary agency for fugitive apprehensions and this course grew out of HRFA training instituted after tragic line of duty deaths experienced by the agency in 2011.
“Extending this innovative, hybrid training opportunity to non-USMS task force officers demonstrates my agency’s goal to make officer safety training a priority that benefits law enforcement and all the communities served by federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies alike,” said Davis.
The training is offered by the USMS Center of Excellence for Officer Safety and Wellness, a first-of-its-kind training consortium with the mission of enhancing community and officer safety by improving the effectiveness of law enforcement operations through training. The methodology employed by the center focuses on combining all aspects of officer safety and wellness expertise into a “One-Stop-Shop” reducing silos while providing increased training capacity for critical officer safety, wellness, and risk mitigation training. With proven and innovative approaches, the new center aims to decrease use-of-force situations, increase the probability for successful non-violent outcomes, and ultimately ensure the safety of the community, law enforcement, and the subjects they encounter.