Administration of Justice Club gains law enforcement knowledge through recent hands-on experience
By Peter Tran
On November 29, the Administration of Justice Club (Formally recognized as the American Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Leadership Program) took knowledge learned from the classroom and applied it in a practical aspect at the Tacoma Tactical indoor CQB (Close Quarters Battle) facility in Tacoma, Washington.
The club expressed an interest in learning procedures for law enforcement, and such information was presented and practiced, including room-clearing, verbal orders, command presence, and other various important concepts involving legal affairs and officer safety. The training scenarios that the facility set up for the grateful Criminal Justice students exposed them immediately to the critical reasoning required in law enforcement.
Tacoma Tactical is a facility that provides an indoor CQB setting for airsoft play and training purposes. A lot of law enforcement agencies have taken the advantage of utilizing such a fully-furnished training facility, and there’s not a whole lot more that you could do to the place to make it more realistic. It’s as realistic as it gets, and includes being able to “boot in,” or knock down, doors.
The students responded extremely well, considering how complicated the scenarios were. It’s difficult to do a simple task when it is complicated by having to juggle legalities, proper procedure, and adjusting to any given situation (that wasn’t covered during your training)—of which mental processing and decision-making regarding whether or not to take action is expected to be completed within mere fractions of a second.
The reality of law enforcement is that officers are forced to make split-second decisions, and those decisions will be questioned 20 years down the road; when one makes a decision in law enforcement, they need to be able to explain every aspect of their reasoning—criminals do not.
This practical exercise that lasted six hours was a method of reinforcing what a student learned in the classroom, as they will better remember their experiences compared to what they attempted to memorize out of a textbook. The amount of knowledge that people were able to take from this experience expresses how successful this exercise was.
It is something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives; they’ll remember going in thinking that they had adequate knowledge and training for the job, but towards the end of the day they will have been given a reality check—there’s a lot more to learn that a classroom simply cannot offer.
-Editor’s note: Peter Tran is Chief of the American Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Leadership Program at Whatcom.