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Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

September 2010

Effective Firearms Training

September 2010
Volume 79
Number 9
United States
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
Robert S. Mueller III
Contributors’ opinions and statements Features
should not be considered an
endorsement by the FBI for any policy,
program, or service.
The attorney general has determined Revisiting Active-Shooter An effective response requires school-
that the publication of this periodical
is necessary in the transaction of the
public business required by law. Use
Protocols for Schools
By Michael E. Buerger
1 specific planning and coordination
grounded in local conditions.
of funds for printing this periodical has
been approved by the director of the and Geoffrey E. Buerger
Office of Management and Budget.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Effective Firearms Training One agency implemented a successful,
(ISSN-0014-5688) is published
monthly by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, 935 Pennsylvania
By Keith Cain 15 cost-effective firearms training program
for its personnel.
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20535-0001. Periodicals postage paid
at Washington, D.C., and additional
mailing offices. Postmaster: Send The Supreme Court Revisits The Supreme Court’s most recent
address changes to Editor, FBI Law
Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy,
Quantico, VA 22135.
the Miranda Right to Silence 25 Miranda decision addresses both the
invocation and waiver of the Miranda
By Jonathan L. Rudd
right to remain silent.
John E. Ott
Associate Editors
David W. MacWha
Bunny S. Morris
Art Director
Denise Bennett Smith
Assistant Art Director
Stephanie L. Lowe 11 Focus on Report Accuracy 22 Bulletin Reports
The Training Division’s
Use-of-Force Reports Youth’s Needs and Services
Outreach and Communications Unit Juveniles in Residential
produces this publication with
assistance from the division’s 21 Unusual Weapon Placement
National Academy Unit.
Issues are available online at
Walker Sword
http://www.fbi.gov. 24 Leadership Spotlight
E-mail Address
Walk with Me

Cover Photograph
© iStockphoto.com

Send article submissions to Editor,

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin,
FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.

ISSN 0014-5688 USPS 383-310

Those Terrible
First Few Minutes
Revisiting Active-Shooter
Protocols for Schools

he term active shooter entered the

T national lexicon in the wake of

the fatal shootings at Columbine
High School, a tragic capstone to similar
devastation in other locales. The dynam-
ics of Columbine redefined police re-
sponse practices and spawned a constel-
lation of in-school prevention initiatives.
The educational community has placed
considerable focus on having a plan in
place against a dire eventuality. The
industry standard protocol is geared
to targeted school violence by an
aggrieved student, which has been
the modal category of school
shootings in recent years.1

© Thinkstock.com
September 2010 / 1
However, incidents meeting this The authors assert that is far removed from armed con-
definition represent only one of enough contingencies have flict. The authors’ goal is to pro-
the potential active-shooter occurred to justify developing mote the development of better
threats. flexible response plans that can tactical and training options for
Although a tendency exists account for and adjust to several the civilians whose reactions
to argue that “you cannot plan broad categories of incidents. will define the incident until the
for every conceivable situa- While even a limited plan is police arrive.
tion,” the history of school better than no plan at all, nei-
invasions, in fact, has encom- ther schools nor police should THE PROTOCOLS
passed a wide range of contin- confine themselves to a “one Most active-shooter proto-
gencies. For example, a fire size fits all” planning protocol. cols contain the same advice:
alarm pulled by an accomplice To this end, the authors ad- implement lockdown proce-
emptied classrooms into the dress that time period between dures, minimize the target pro-
playground, providing a clear the first contact with an armed file, and wait for the police to
field of fire for a shooter con- intruder on school grounds and neutralize the situation. Teach-
cealed in the woods. In another the arrival of help. By examin- ers and students should hide
incident, a shooter targeted his ing this from the perspective of quietly, lock or barricade doors,
tormentors during a voluntary school personnel, they sug- and turn off lights and electrical
prayer meeting just before the gest that the police should be equipment that would attract the
start of school. Several different considered second responders. shooter’s attention. If possible,
cases have seen shooters focus Unless a situation begins with they should provide detailed
on administrators or teachers. the shooter confronting a school information via 911 contact
Still other schools have been resource officer, the first reac- to guide authorities and, then,
invaded by adults armed with a tion will come from individuals remain quiet until a recognized
variety of weapons.2 whose professional orientation voice advises that it is safe to
© Thinkstock.com
The rationale for the exist-
ing active-shooter protocols
is obvious. Once a school is
in lockdown, “hide and hope”
defensive actions minimize
the chances of being a target
and maximize police latitude
in clearing the building. Con-
cealment and cover reduce
potential casualties. The chaos
of moving, screaming bodies
provides a target-rich environ-
ment, as well as camouflage, for
a shooter.
Lockdown procedures
encourage the shooter to search

2 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

for softer, more accessible tar- intervals between class periods as late-seeking refuge, must be
gets within a large physical have corridors full of students developed and clearly commu-
plant. That interval coincides changing classrooms. nicated to all school staff.
with police response time, In an emergency during Lunchtime creates a dif-
delays the perpetrator’s en- a transition period in a high ferent dynamic, as do library
gagement with any targets, and school, administrators could periods, study halls, and simi-
keeps the person in open space. direct students to report to lar nonclassroom times. The
When discovered, the shooter is their next class or to the near- physical layouts of lunchrooms,
isolated against the background, est classroom. During their libraries, and other common
a single target for law enforce- areas vary widely. Gym classes,
ment officers. If intruders seek locker rooms, and open bath-

concealment from the police, room facilities do not provide
they abandon the search for the same degree of cover that
victims, increasing the overall Unless a situation a locked classroom might.
safety of the school community. begins with the School-specific protocols need
Two tacit assumptions are shooter confronting to cover these vulnerable, and
inherent in the protocols. First a school resource predictable, times.
of all, operationally, the con- officer, the first In addition, the protocols
cept of lockdown hinges upon reaction will come the authors reviewed seemed
a notification that occurs with from individuals geared to college-age students
students in standard classrooms. whose professional in campus environments or to
Second, school authorities will large high schools. But, reac-
orientation is far tions expected from a college
control the scene with police as
the sole actors in the response.
removed from armed population are quite different
Embedded in both are presump- conflict. from those from a combined

tions of orderly, effective com- K-3 class. Young students are
munication of the emergency easily upset, and teachers can-
and a methodical compliance not quell their crying by logi-
with the school plan upon research, the authors discovered cal reminders why they should
notification. no protocols that addressed remain quiet. In the event of an
potential problems arising from evacuation, maintaining or-
Nonstandard Circumstances overcrowded classrooms (e.g., derly flight and regrouping with
In primary and secondary those adjacent to cafeterias) younger or mixed-age school
schools, students are not al- or rooms in lockdown when populations can prove much
ways in classrooms. Recess and students arrived from more more difficult than directing
lunchtime take them out of their distant locations. Because it is older students.
classrooms and often put them statistically probable that the In high schools and col-
under the direction of adults shooter is a student, a person leges, shutting off cell phones is
who are not their regular teach- seeking entry to a classroom in desirable but probably impos-
ers. School assemblies and other lockdown could be the perpe- sible to implement. Cell phones
special events create similar trator. Procedures for handling provide a way to communicate
conditions. In high schools, the contingency situations, such information to the outside

September 2010 / 3
world, but the ring of one alerts evacuation initiated should be specific target in mind or simply
an intruder to the presence of developed at the local or district be intent on random violence.
people inside a room, elevating level. Not all of these factors will
the danger. Parents hearing of Faced with a school-in- be evident, nor will they neces-
a situation likely will call their vasion situation, school staff sarily be meaningful in terms
child, increasing the probability will have to make a quick of the reactions of staff in the
that cell phones will be ring- assessment of the threat and first moments. Undoubtedly,
ing throughout the school and take multiple steps in response. overt visual and verbal cues will
defeating the “hide and hope” They must disseminate appro- provide a rough “flash” image
approach to lockdown. priate information to the school that determines the initial staff
and to outside authorities and response. From a police tactical
Situational Considerations initiate available defensive perspective, none of these issues
Most school entrances have mechanisms. are relevant once the shooting
open space nearby, populated starts; safety precautions and
offices with transparent glass search patterns presume the

windows, and corridors. It is worst-case scenario. For school
entirely possible that an in- personnel, however, they may
vader’s first victims will be the Most active-shooter be critical.
administrators and staff charged protocols contain Assuming that an attack
with initiating the emergency the same advice: does not ensue immediately, a
procedures. In that case, the first implement lockdown person with only minimal
notification that an emergency procedures, minimize training and an orientation far
is underway may be the sound different from that of police
the target profile, officers will handle the first
of gunshots and screams.
If administrative person-
and wait for the contact. This individual may be
nel are killed or driven to take police to neutralize the principal, a teacher, a
cover, no one may be able to the situation. secretary or other staff member,

initiate a formal alert, thereby a parent or other volunteer, a
forcing teachers and other staff substitute teacher, or a student.
to make autonomous deci- The last three are most prob-
sions for the protection of their A number of dynamic ele- lematic because they are least
charges. School policy and ments exist at the point of first likely to be aware of the proto-
related police response proto- contact with a potential shooter. col and less prepared to pick
cols must be adaptable. Specific The intruder may be a mem- up on the nonverbal cues an
parameters when teachers have ber of the school population intruder might display. Their
the freedom to initiate a lock- (including an adult staff mem- initial reaction most likely will
down of a classroom, even in ber), a resident of the surround- range from initial surprise and
the absence of formal notifica- ing community, or a complete recovery to shock and outright
tion from the office (i.e., when stranger. The shooter may be panic.
shots or shouts are heard), and acting on impulse, under the The most important duty of
under what conditions lock- influence of drugs, or mentally the person making first contact
down should be abandoned and ill. The intruder may have a is to communicate the potential

4 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

danger to others. That com- upon the intruder’s willing- THE IMPLICATIONS
munication must be in a non- ness to engage in conversation Neither police nor school
threatening manner that does and then upon the intervening officials should consider the na-
not escalate the situation, but individual’s ability to interpret tional “best practices” protocols
it must be clear and specific, the responses and react in an as either complete or sufficient.
even if the school protocol uses appropriate manner. They are a place to begin, a
coded language. If that cannot Notification has two stages: platform from which to exam-
be done and the intruder refuses internal notice to effect the ine the exceptions that apply to
to be engaged by conversation, lockdown procedures and com- each individual school. Plan-
the first notice of the event may munication of the emergency ning, training, and contingency
be gunshots or screams. protocols should proceed from
© shutterstock.com
If the invader is a student, a variety of plausible scenarios
either visibly armed or vis- that draw upon both historical
ibly disturbed, the likelihood events and knowledge of local
that a teacher or administrator situations.
will engage them is fairly high.
School personnel are familiar Information Transmission
with each student’s baseline be- Incapacitation is not the
havior and would be sensitive to only void in a hierarchy: prin-
changes under most conditions. cipals may be out of the office,
They also have a background even off the school grounds for
relationship to help them. Even district meetings or other func-
if the indicators suggest severe tions. Response plans cannot
emotional upset, the teacher’s be strict chain-of-command
approach is likely to be student protocols that gridlock in the
focused, perhaps deflecting or absence of key hierarchical
distracting the individual and personnel. Authority and re-
hopefully calming the student sponsibility must be fluid and
down. Confrontation runs the to police authorities. School-in- flexible. A large part of that
risk that the person who first truder situations have no equiv- flexibility requires mutual trust
approaches the intruder will alent of the fire alarm, which among school employees, from
become the first casualty. initiates both notifications principal to custodian, and, as in
Collateral risks include an simultaneously. Instead, notice all human institutions, that trust
untrained adult or a well-mean- is volitional, with an expected may not be pervasive.
ing student exacerbating a hierarchy of action invested Information transmission
situation that might have been presumptively in a central is critical to any protocol, but
controlled by a different ap- administrative office. Because none, aside from “shots fired,”
proach. As police know, the first not all events begin with the may exist. The directive to seek
contact with a visibly disturbed office, however, planning needs quiet concealment can conflict
citizen always is risky. De- to encompass circumstances in with the need to develop and
termining the motivation and which notification is executed provide more information to
potential risk depends first by other staff. responding authorities. Primary

September 2010 / 5
© Photos.com

Active Shooters in Isolated Rural Schools

any rural schools are located in Principals often have regular teaching duties
M small, isolated towns served by only
state police or sheriff’s departments. The
or cover teacher absences out of necessity
and may be away from the office at the criti-
far-flung patrol responsibilities and limited cal moment. Teachers and other staff will be
staff levels of those agencies make a 20- to forced to make autonomous decisions for
30-minute response time an optimistic best- the protection of their charges.
case scenario; in reality, it may take 45 min- The special vulnerabilities of isolated
utes to an hour before authorities arrive. rural schools with a limited physical plant
A longer wait for police response make flight a viable option under some
extends the period of vulnerability. The conditions. When authority has devolved
smaller size of rural schools compresses to the level of the individual classroom,
both distance and time, making confronta- teachers must decide whether shelter in
tions more intimate and dramatically alter- place or flight gives their charges the great-
ing the dynamics of refuge and escape. The est chance of surviving the incident. The
advantage of lockdown quickly evaporates, intruder who has just rattled the locked
tipping the advantage to classroom door may be
the armed invader. At a minute away from ap-
© Photos.com
several schools known pearing at the windows
to the authors, the entire with a clear view of the
physical plant can be interior of the classroom
explored in less than and only a glass pane
5 minutes. An armed barring access.
intruder can check the The dispersal of
doors of every office students during an es-
and classroom within 2 cape presents addition-
minutes and, if thwarted al problems. The best
by locked or barricaded chance for surviving an
doors, could easily move outside to enter active-shooter situation may be to scatter but
classrooms through a window or proceed also may increase individual vulnerability
around the perimeter, shooting into the inte-to other hazards. It can increase the difficul-
riors of classroom after classroom. ties of accounting for students, elevating
parents’ anxieties and compounding the
Special Vulnerabilities recovery stage. For example, some schools
The potential for a shooter neutralizing may have fences or be situated next to
the school’s administrative staff can prove natural barriers, such as streams or riv-
even more pronounced in rural schools. ers, that can prove dangerous to students.

6 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Schools located outside the settled area, intruder: identity if known or at least a reli-
rather than within it or at its border, may able description.
have no effective rallying point that pro- Further complications could arise in ar-
vides shelter. In many rural areas, extreme eas where older students have some kind of
temperatures also may expose children to weapon in their vehicles for after-school
danger if secondary shelter is not readily activities (e.g., during hunting season).
accessible. Some students may travel with firearms for
Young populations (K-3 especially) can- protection if they live in an area populated
not be counted on to react the same as older with dangerous wildlife (e.g., bears in Alas-
students; the hazard to them and to their ka). Because rural students tend to be famil-
teachers is correspondingly greater. Keeping iar with firearms and hunting knives, rural
them in a group is more natural and might response may involve other students assum-
be the only way to effectively evacuate the ing an ACR role in reaction to an attack.
area. Even if the target density increases the Police normally discourage citizen inter-
risk, dispersal may represent a better option vention in dynamic scenes for the same rea-
than remaining in a contained space. son they recommend lockdown and silence:
unidentified citizens introduce an element of
Armed Citizen Responders confusion into a highly volatile landscape.
The arrival of armed citizen responders Any person carrying a weapon may be the
(ACR) at a rural school under siege should shooter and, thus, a target for other ACR and
be anticipated. The chances of parental re- for arriving law enforcement officers.
sponse are elevated and more complex in
rural communities. Many families own fire- Conclusion
arms, and residents often serve on volunteer Rural schools share the same risks as
emergency squads with around-the-clock their urban and suburban counterparts. Their
notification of unfolding events. The odds situations are exacerbated by longer delays
are great that the first responders to arrive in the probable arrival of police and the
at the scene will be concerned parents, ama- smaller, more compact physical plant that
teurs with an emotional investment in the undercut the assumptions of most response
event, little training, and no coordination. protocols. Rural settings are more likely
Even those trained as first responders may to see an ad hoc armed citizen response
not have the skills needed for a coordinated to school incidents, with the potential for
defense of a school, which becomes a spe- friendly fire and collateral injuries. As such,
cial complicating factor for rural active- their planning needs are even more complex
shooter responses. It also places a premium and may potentially extend to the commu-
on broadcasting information about the nity, as well as the school.

September 2010 / 7
and secondary schools have an must work with school officials populated urban settings pose
inherent in loco parentis respon- to develop supplemental plans different tactical challenges
sibility for their minor charges to address gaps. than newer, more spread out
not present in postsecondary The most glaring gap in- campuses in suburban and rural
institutions. By implication, volves nonclassroom locations settings. Nearby environmental
expectations oblige school and activities. A robust active- hazards—whether outdoor
principals to develop as much shooter protocol must encom- propane tanks, busy highways,
on-scene information as pos- pass outdoor recess, lunchtime or watercourses and other natu-
sible, even at the risk of their groupings in the cafeteria, as- ral barriers—all create differ-
own safety. Whether that de- semblies, and transition times. ent dangers in the event of
volves to secretaries or others in Other points of vulnerability in- flight.
the absence of an administrator clude the unloading and loading Finally, developing a local
is less clear. of school buses. Students out- plan can run afoul of compet-
Information in the first side for recess or getting on or ing interests. One question that
few moments may be scant, arises immediately is whether
fragmentary, and sometimes to evacuate a school if the

ambiguous. If lockdown is fire alarm is pulled during
ordered swiftly and clearly in lockdown. Fire officials are
large schools, the associated Faced with a oriented to the perspective that
protective factors take effect school-invasion premises always should be
almost immediately. If such situation, school staff evacuated when a fire alarm is
action is not an automatic re- will have to make a activated, but lockdowns are
sponse because of uncertainty, quick assessment initiated only when danger is
the intruder gains an advantage of the threat and known to be present. Because
that expands risk to the school take multiple steps the recent history of school
population. in response. shootings includes one incident
A backup plan is needed for where the alarm was pulled by

a more diverse reporting re- an accomplice to generate
sponsibility if the first contact is targets,3 schools must conclude
gunshots. Teachers tend to com- that without evidence of a fire,
municate with the central office off school buses might be better lockdown overrides the fire
for clarification, a momentary served by flight and regrouping alarm. Other forms of resistance
but understandable delay; in at a secondary location than by may come from the community
the absence of a response from attempting to find or return to a or from within the school itself.
the central office, autonomous classroom. “It can’t happen here” and “You
lockdown should be the default In addition, plans must ad- cannot plan for every emergen-
protocol. dress both age differences and cy” are standard rebuffs to
the surrounding geography. The attempts to create innovative
Secondary Protocols behavior expected of students responses. It may help to re-
While lockdown provides has a powerful influence on the mind communities that all but a
a solid foundation, it is not viability of elements of stan- pair of high-profile school
sufficient in itself. Police and dard protocols. Older, compact shootings took place in “it can’t
emergency response personnel school facilities in densely happen here” locales.

8 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Intervention Training for discussing the realities dynamics of the situation.
In-service training for perceived by the school staff. Second, a tacit assumption,
educators cannot be expected to The process should craft a lockdown and concealment will
turn them into effective hostage viable framework for multiple protect students and staff, rather
negotiators. Nevertheless, some contingencies and help create a than endanger them. Third, also
overview of danger signals, mind-set that facilitates adapta- tacit but inherent in the struc-
drawn from the library of post- tion. Moreover, the police must ture of the protocols, the author-
shooting reports that has grown open their “first responder” ities will control the scene
over the past two decades, mind-set during the preparation and be the sole actors in the
might be considered. stage, recognizing that, in fact, response.
The recent history of school they are the second responders. Given the astronomical odds
shootings involves students in In school-invasion situations, against a shooting event hap-
all but a handful of incidents, the first responders are the pening in any one particular
so knowledge of second-tier or school personnel who will location, these considerations
contingency emergency pro- manage the incident until the might seem academic. The list
tocols must be limited to staff. police arrive. of school shootings continues
Some form of code phrase, or to grow, however, and school
an alternative that conveys CONCLUSION administrators, law enforcement
“a situation” has occurred to Three basic assumptions personnel, parents, and con-
staff within earshot, could be underlie existing active-shooter cerned citizens must consider
developed. protocols for schools. First, all possibilities. An effective
Schools have a fluid pop- police resources will arrive response requires school-spe-
ulation, however, including promptly and with overwhelm- cific planning and coordination
substitute teachers, aides, stu- ing numbers to alter the grounded in local conditions.
dent teachers, and other guests.
Their more limited connection
to the student body makes it
less likely they would recognize
behavior changes and have the
personal connection to engage
a student, much less an adult,
intruder. Whether, and how, to
incorporate transient staff in
an emergency protocol de-
pends largely upon local
For the police, the practical
application of this is not a single
presentation to school staff but
a more robust and ongoing
interactive process. Describing
what the police are trained to
© iStockphoto.com
do is merely the starting point

September 2010 / 9
To open a discussion on and Schools, A Guide to School Vulnerability target base, than it is for individually
promote the development of Assessments: Key Principles for Safe targeted shootings.
Schools (Washington, DC, 2008); and
options for action during those Bryan Vossekuil, Marisa Reddy, Robert Dr. Michael Buerger, a former police
first few minutes when hid- Fein, Randy Borum, and William Modze- officer, is an associate professor of
ing quietly and waiting for leski, U.S. Secret Service National Threat criminal justice at Bowling Green State
help may not be viable are Assessment Center, Safe Schools Initia- University in Ohio and a member of the
paramount goals for all tive: An Interim Report on the Prevention Futures Working Group, a partnership
of Targeted Violence on Schools (Washing- between the FBI and the Society of
communities. ton, DC, 2000). Police Futurists International.
For additional details, see Stephen
R. Band and Joseph A. Harpold, “School Dr. Geoffrey Buerger, a school admin-
Violence: Lessons Learned,” FBI Law istrator for 25 years, is the principal of
U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Enforcement Bulletin, September 1999, Princess Alexandra School, Hay River,
Bureau of Investigation, National Center 9-16. Northwest Territories, Canada.
for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Critical 3
Logic suggests that pulling the alarm The views expressed in this article
Incident Response Group, The School is the quickest way for an intruder to reflect those of the authors and should
Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective neutralize lockdown, flooding the corridors not be considered as representing an
(Quantico, VA, 2000); U. S. Department of with targets. This is a greater problem in official position of the FBI.
Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free a rampage shooting, with a generalized

The Bulletin’s
E-mail Address
© Digital Vision
he FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
T staff invites you to communicate
with us via e-mail. Our Internet ad-
dress is leb@fbiacademy.edu.
We would like to know your
thoughts on contemporary law en-
forcement issues. We welcome your
comments, questions, and suggestions
about the magazine. Please include
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Also, the Bulletin is available for
viewing or downloading on a number
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FBI’s home page. The home page
address is http://www.fbi.gov.

10 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Focus on Report Accuracy

Improved Memory Leads to More Accurate

Use-of-Force Reports
By Todd Coleman

© Thinkstock.com

A s you complete your midnight shift, you

know that your department’s policy states
that you must finish your paperwork before secur-
internal investigations, and even potential civil or
criminal prosecution.1
Overconfidence in the accuracy of their own
ing from duty. As usual, it was a busy night, and, to recollections leads most people to automatically
top things off, you were involved in a foot pursuit assume that mistakes in another’s recall of events
that resulted in the use of force and an injury to the stem from dishonesty, rather than memory errors.
suspect. Fighting to stay awake, you fill out your This belief, however, can have a devastating im-
agency’s use-of-force report, turn it in, and head pact on the reputation of an officer who reported
home for some well-deserved sleep. a use-of-force incident incorrectly due to faulty
Because of a great deal of scientific research memory recall.
on human memory, you should not be surprised The best way to deal with this problem is to
to find that you have made errors in your use-of- avoid it in the first place by taking advantage of the
force report. If you are lucky, these will be insig- vast amount of research conducted in the area of
nificant and easily corrected. Unfortunately, such human memory. The law enforcement community
errors could lead to accusations of untruthfulness, and the courts have accepted and implemented

September 2010 / 11
many of these principles. While procedures, such Additional research in this area also has shown
as sequential lineups and the cognitive interview that people’s memory can be affected by exposure
technique, have helped ensure the accuracy of to high levels of stress. One study reported that
the information provided by witnesses, law en- “evidence that eyewitness memory for persons
forcement officers have received little training in encountered during the events that are person-
methods to help them recall events as accurately ally relevant, highly stressful, and realistic in
as possible. Even more troubling, the procedures nature may be subject to substantial error.”4 Based
of many agencies often increase the likelihood of on relevant research, it is clear that when report-
memory errors by officers. ing use-of-force incidents, officers need to be
aware of circumstances that can lead to memory
Understand What Happens distortions.
First of all, use-of-force reports are unique Because officers are reporting an event where
because officers are describing an incident that they may have some difficulty in completely and
is usually emotionally charged and one in which accurately recalling all details of the incident, they
they actively participated. Second, the nature of should enact procedures that help facilitate accu-
a use-of-force incident can contribute to memory rate memory. By following three basic procedures,
distortions. During deadly agencies can enhance officers’
force situations, officers can memories resulting in more ac-
suffer various memory distor- curate and detailed use-of-
tions. Concepts, like tunnel
vision and auditory exclusion,
are familiar to most officers.
However, memory distortions
“ Research has
shown that humans
force reports. This not only
benefits officers by avoiding
the trouble associated with an
erroneous use-of-force report
can occur in other use-of-force have difficulty but it saves their agencies the
encounters as well. 2 accurately recalling time and money associated
A recent report by the details involving with conducting internal
British Psychological Society spatial memory. investigations.
defined a traumatic event as

“a situation in which the indi- Get Some Sleep
vidual experienced, witnessed, Many agencies require of-
or was confronted with actual ficers to complete all of their
or threatened death, serious paperwork prior to securing at
injury, or the threat to the physical integrity of self the end of their shift. While not always an issue,
or others.”3 The report included physical assault this policy can create significant problems in some
as one example of a typical traumatic event that circumstances. Research has found that people
could negatively impact memory, stating that “it is have a higher rate of false memories when suffer-
common that other parts will be more vague, have ing from sleep deprivation at the time of memory
some gaps, in jumbled order, and possibly contain recall.5
inaccuracies.” By this definition, many, if not While requiring sleep-deprived officers to
most, use-of-force incidents could be considered a complete and submit an alarm report or an accident
traumatic event and carry the implications of pos- report before the end of their shift may not have
sible memory distortions. any serious repercussions, having them meet the

12 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

same requirement on a use-of-force report consti- officers may experience memory distortion when
tutes another matter entirely. Use-of-force reports recalling the details of these encounters.
are routinely reviewed by a number of different When possible, officers should return to the
personnel. An officer’s immediate supervisor, location of the incident. Such action often pro-
higher-level commanders, internal affairs person- vides a number of memory triggers, enhancing the
nel, and even defense attorneys may have access to accuracy of their recollections. It also allows of-
this document. Such scrutiny makes it imperative ficers to get an exact picture of the physical envi-
for officers to get it right the first time. ronment under stress-free conditions. The actual
Few persuasive arguments exist as to why use- distance that they were standing from a doorway
of-force reports cannot be done later. Obviously, if or streetlight may not register as significant while
situations arise where officers will be away from they were chasing or fighting with a suspect. How-
work for a significant period of time, their depart- ever, during a walk-through, they can pay attention
ments must arrange to get the reports completed. to these types of details. During the initial encoun-
However, this should be the exception, rather than ter, breaking concentration to focus on specifics
the rule. Also, under these of this nature could have fatal
circumstances, it should not consequences for officers.
negatively reflect on the of- Some may argue that do-
ficers if any reasonable cor- ing a walk-through might al-
rections are needed. By taking ter an officer’s true memories.
the simple step of allowing of- Whether or not an officer’s re-
ficers to complete their use-of- call of an incident is affected
force reports at the beginning by conducting a walk-through
of their next shift, supervisors is not the issue. The point
can increase the accuracy of should be to obtain the most
the documents. accurate use-of-force report.
If conducting a walk-through
Do a Walk-Through allows an officer to accurately
Most use-of-force inci- © iStockphoto.com report the sequence and lo-
dents are dynamic and con- cations of events, then it is in
stantly evolving. They may cover a large geo- the best interest of both officers and their agencies
graphical area, such as during vehicle pursuits, or to do so.
they may involve an extended period of time in
stand-off or barricade situations. They also may Tell Your Story
include both time and space in such cases as police The cognitive interview technique or similar
K-9 searches. Regardless of the circumstances, a methods have become widely accepted by the law
large number of important details will occur in the enforcement community. These encourage wit-
course of the encounter that officers may have dif- nesses to tell their story in its entirety with little
ficulty recalling later. or no interruption. Interviewers then ask follow-
Research has shown that humans have diffi- up questions as needed. Without interruption, the
culty accurately recalling details involving spatial witnesses can concentrate and possibly provide
memory.6 Add to that the stress involved during the information that the interviewers otherwise may
use of force and it becomes easy to understand why not have discovered. Such a process also avoids

September 2010 / 13
memory distortion due to leading questions or ran- incident—they can minimize the effects of mem-
dom searches of the witnesses’ memories. ory distortion when reporting their use-of-force
Unfortunately, many use-of-force reports vio- actions. After all, their agencies spend a great deal
late this principle by requiring officers to check of time and money on training with the goal of
a box or select from a list of options regarding producing proficient and professional personnel.
decisions made throughout an event. The forms Another goal of this training is to avoid potential
often force them to mentally jump around from lawsuits. While a great deal of this training is time
one part of the encounter to consuming and expensive, im-
another. A typical use-of-force plementing these procedures
report may ask for the suspect’s costs nothing and can help
actions first and then the of-
ficers’ responses. It may give a
list of options to choose from
and then a space to elaborate
“ To enhance
the accuracy of
use-of-force reporting,
achieve these goals.

For an overview of use-of-force
as needed. While these forms agencies should investigations, see Shannon Bohrer and
help with data collection, they Robert Chaney, “Police Investigations
follow the principles of the Use of Deadly Force Can Influ-
leave much to be desired when
it comes to getting a complete
of the cognitive ence Perceptions and Outcomes,” FBI
Law Enforcement Bulletin, January
and accurate account of a use- interview technique. 2010, 1-7.
of-force incident. For additional inforation, see Shan-
To enhance the accuracy of
use-of-force reporting, agen-
cies should follow the prin-
” non Bohrer, “After Firing the Shots,
What Happens?” FBI Law Enforce-
ment Bulletin, September 2005, 8-13;
and Alexis Artwohl, “Perceptual and
ciples of the cognitive interview technique. Before Memory Distortion During Officer-Involved Shootings,” FBI
starting the use-of-force report, officers should Law3 Enforcement Bulletin, October 2002, 18-24.
M.A. Conway and E.A. Holmes, “Guidelines on Memory and
write out the entire story from beginning to end,
the Law: Recommendations from the Scientific Study of Human
including all of the information surrounding the Memory,” The British Psychological Society, 2008, http://www.
event. Once they have completed the write-up, policecouncil.ca/reports/BPS%20Guidelines%20on%20Memory.
they can use it as a reference when filling out the pdf (accessed January 27, 2010).
use-of-force form. This will help negate the mem- C.A. Morgan III, G. Hazlett, A. Doran, S. Garrett, G. Hoyt,
P. Thomas, et al., “Accuracy of Eyewitness Memory for Persons
ory errors that can be caused by jumping around in
Encountered During Exposure to Highly Intense Stress,” Inter-
the recounting of the incident. national Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27 (2004): 265-279.
Some may consider this duplication of effort a 5
S. Diekelmann, H.P. Landolt, O. Lahl, J. Born, and U.
waste of time. Reporting a use of force is not the Wagner, “Sleep Loss Produces False Memories,” PLoS ONE 3,
time to cut corners to save a few minutes. After all, no. 10 (2008), http:// www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
an extra 10 or 20 minutes of effort ensuring accu- fcgi?artid=2567433
(accessed January 22, 2009).
B. Tversky, Navigating by Mind and Body (Stanford Uni-
racy in reporting officers’ actions may save weeks versity: Department of Psychology, 2003), http://www-psych.
or months of stress and headaches. stanford.edu/~bt/space/papers/S_spatcognavigate03.pdf
(accessed January 27, 2010).
If law enforcement officers apply three Officer Coleman serves with the Virginia Beach, Virginia,
basic recommendations—get some sleep, conduct Police Department.
a walk-through, and write out the complete

14 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

© Daviess County Sheriff’s Office

Effective Firearms Training

One Agency’s Approach

vents across the nation Consequently, assigning the economic downturn has made

E continue to highlight
the need for law en-
forcement officers to develop
right priority to firearms train-
ing never is easy, and many
small and medium-sized agen-
the task harder as declining
budgets have resulted in staff-
ing shortages, overtime curtail-
and sustain the firearms skills cies face the challenge of find- ments, and difficulty in purchas-
needed to survive a lethal force ing the resources necessary to ing training ammunition.
encounter. However, officer- implement more than a minimal The Daviess County, Ken-
involved shootings remain periodic firearms requalification tucky, Sheriff’s Office continues
relatively rare in this country. program. Further, the current to experience each of those

September 2010 / 15
challenges. Yet, agency leaders limited-scale range firing every has found that certain tasks—
felt obligated to officers and cit- month and an annual 2-day for example, reloading with the
izens to address those obstacles, event. weak hand only—can be taught
rather than just defer firearms effectively without requiring
training until better times. This MONTHLY EXERCISES officers to fire.
entailed gaining buy in among Because the agency does
employees at all levels while not have its own firing range, it ANNUAL EVENTS
developing creative solutions conducts the monthly event at The agency conducts the
for the lack of resources—in the Owensboro Police Depart- yearly event about 40 miles
short, crafting an effective ment’s outdoor range over the from department headquar-
program that the agency could course of 2 days. Every officer ters at the Kentucky National
execute within the available participates for 2 hours, while Guard (KYNG) training facility
means. Leaders also decided on duty if possible. The agency in Greenville, which features
that the training requirements encourages all sworn personnel ranges and other facilities that
would apply equally to all to attend monthly but requires rank among the finest in the
sworn personnel—supervisors, them to participate at least country. While military train-
patrol officers, court security bimonthly for record qualifi- ing takes first priority, KYNG
officers, criminal investigators, cation. Scheduled exercises graciously shares its facilities
school resource officers, and sustain basic firearms skills, when available; otherwise, this
special deputies—even though periodically introduce new event would not take place. Fur-
this presented additional chal- ones, and feature a mix of both ther, one of the nation’s premier
lenges. Ultimately, the depart- dry and live fire. Although each firearms instructors, a full-time
ment implemented a program exercise includes firing at least civilian contract employee of
with two major components: a some rounds, the department KYNG, provides most of the
In 2006, the training be-
gan with two 2-day iterations,
each involving half of the

“ …while conducting
this training takes
a lot of work on the
participants. The coordination
involved in allowing so many
officers to train for 2 full days
proved challenging and relied
upon the generous assistance
part of all concerned, of both the Owensboro Police
officer feedback has Department and the Kentucky
shown its worth. State Police. Personnel provided
overwhelmingly positive feed-

back about the training. Many
officers said that this was the
Sheriff Cain heads the Daviess County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s first time since graduating from
Office, is a board member of the Kentucky and National Sheriff’s the academy—in some instanc-
Associations, and chairs the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.
es, decades before—that they

16 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

© Daviess County Sheriff’s Office

had in-depth, structured, formal

firearms instruction, rather than
just periodically demonstrating
basic proficiency on a qualifica-
tion range.
Beginning in 2008, a suc-
cessful program took a signifi-
cant leap forward when KYNG
opened its newly constructed
shoot house to the Daviess
County Sheriff’s Office. The
shoot house is Kentucky’s only
three-dimensional, full live-fire
training facility, and its use of
service ammunition makes it
both realistic and affordable.
Its 11 rooms permit an almost
limitless array of scenarios. basic tactical skills. Leaders continues or entering the build-
The agency chose an especially wanted the training to ing alone to try to locate and
active-shooter scenario as the benefit all sworn personnel, re- stop the killer. Officers begin
basic vehicle for instruction. gardless of age, physical condi- the day with a classroom pre-
This decision reflects a grow- tion, or normal duty assignment, sentation followed by a half day
ing awareness among the law because nationwide experience on the outdoor range to partici-
enforcement community that suggests that any officer could pate in a basic firearms skills
officers arriving at the scene of respond first to an active-shoot- refresher emphasizing speed
an ongoing shooting, an event er scene. The department found and accuracy, ammunition
usually over in minutes, can- it important to limit class sizes management, malfunction
not wait for the arrival of a to 6 to 8 officers for each 2-day clearance, and shooting on the
SWAT or special response team. iteration as this not only facili- move. When every participant
Department leaders decided that tates scheduling but also allows has demonstrated an acceptable
officers should receive some instructors to devote more level of skill and, thus, fulfilled
level of training to improve attention to each student and the prerequisite for the next
their prospects of succeeding in introduce skills more easily and phase, the class moves to the
such encounters and reducing safely than would be possible shoot house for the rest of the
personal risk. with a larger group. day for live-fire training.
Rather than focusing on The following segment
complex maneuvers that officers Day 1 begins with a walk-through
would find difficult to remem- The first day focuses on discussion and demonstration of
ber without constant practice or individual officers placed into basic techniques, such as “slic-
pairing with the same deputy a situation involving a choice ing the pie,” balancing security
while on duty, the agency decid- between waiting for backup with speed, and engaging from
ed to concentrate on a few very while the active shooter the greatest practical distance.

September 2010 / 17
Much of the time focuses on instructors begin introducing weapons drawn. Officers can do
dealing with doorways and min- them to the concept of moving this safely only if they have
imizing officer exposure. Next, around each other safely with developed and maintained rigid
every officer participates in one drawn weapons—a subject muzzle awareness and control,
or more instances of dry fire un- rarely covered in academy- as well as the discipline to keep
der the close supervision of an like settings where the training their fingers off the trigger until
instructor. When every officer is emphasizes a straight firing line they have their sights on the
ready, the house is reconfigured of officers facing similarly situ- target. During this exercise,
for a series of individual live- ated targets, a situation rarely officers take turns standing
fire exercises. encountered on the street. Next, forward of the firing line while
One of the shoot house’s more complex exercises in- another engages targets on each
distinctive features provides volve coordinating ammunition side of them. While this
the opportunity for officers to management while moving and sounds—and potentially is—
engage targets in any direc- engaging targets so that two of- dangerous, instructors rigidly
tion, something linear outdoor ficers do not reload at the same control it, and officers must
ranges do not normally offer. time. master it in dry fire before
Many officers find the need to progressing to live fire.
search for and encounter targets Officers with serious res-

in a 360-degree setting new. To ervations do not have to take
further complicate the process, part in this exercise, but it is a
the training involves targets …many small and prerequisite for anyone want-
held up by an internal balloon medium-sized ing to participate in a two-man
that shooters must break for agencies face the live-fire entry into the shoot
the targets to fall; this requires challenge of finding the house. In addition to being a
multiple accurate hits to end the resources necessary to critically important safety gate,
threat. And, to reinforce appro- implement more than this activity also proves valu-
priate decision-making skills, a minimal periodic able because, as veteran law
the sessions normally employ firearms requalification enforcement officers know, such
more no-shoot targets than program. situations are common on the
threats. street, but not often addressed in

At the conclusion of each training.
run, officers go through a reen- When the instructors decide
actment with the instructors and that all students have demon-
discuss how they handled each This range portion con- strated their ability to safely
situation. The training staff tries cludes with a tightly coordi- move and engage targets with
to ensure that participants feel nated “snake drill” in which fellow officers in close proxim-
comfortable speaking candidly. participants experience another ity, the training moves back to
officer firing a weapon past the shoot house. This portion
Day 2 them to engage a target in a begins with a group walk-
The second day simulates nonlinear environment. They through that includes demon-
officers’ arrival at the scene. also must move around and past strations and explanations
On a standard outdoor range, each other in close quarters with of various entry and movement

18 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

techniques. Instructors empha- A veteran Daviess County Sheriff’s deputy who com-
size the fundamentals: develop- pleted the firearms training program approximately 90
ing a quick plan, getting days earlier responded to a suspicious person call in
through doorways quickly and a residential neighborhood one morning and became
nearly simultaneously, going involved in a shooting confrontation with an armed
toward opposite corners to subject. Unknown to the officer, the individual recently
disrupt the shooter’s decision- had been released from prison, carried a handgun,
making loop, focusing by and faced many years of backup time. The encoun-
officers on their own area of ter took place at close range, and both parties fired
responsibility so fellow officers multiple rounds. The subject sustained an incapaci-
can do the same, and effectively tating wound
that terminated
communicating with each other.
the encounter;
Next, two-officer dry-fire
the officer was
runs commence, the phase dur- uninjured.
ing which most of the learning This event
occurs. Although a dry-fire ex- demonstrates
ercise, most officers experience two things.
increased heart rates, respira- One, the of-
tion, and blood pressure. ficer obviously
As with the solo-officer went to work © Daviess County Sheriff’s Office
entries the day before, when that day with the skills necessary to survive and pre-
all students have successfully vail; he stayed in the fight and ultimately took a violent
completed dry-fire training, criminal into custody. Further, he later went home
the house is reconfigured for safe. The officer credits the valuable training he re-
live fire. The crawl-walk-run ceived for saving his life that day. This incident serves
approach helps manage risk, as an example of why the Daviess County Sheriff’s
and two certified shoot house Office feels so strongly about the program.
instructors who also must be
currently certified range safety
officers tailor the scenarios and
target placement according to IMPLICATIONS flashlights. Other plans include
the demonstrated skill level of As of May 2009, everyone configuring the training for
each officer. Instructors strive to in the department authorized to patrol rifles and shotguns. And,
challenge officers beyond their carry a firearm completed this already, the department has
comfort zone, but task them training. The agency views this equipped a once largely empty
within their capabilities. not as a one-time event but an building with furniture, which
During both of the dry-fire ongoing program and is begin- makes searching and clearing
and live-fire exercises, one in- ning the second cycle, which much more complex and dan-
structor accompanies the team, will reinforce the previously gerous and significantly increas-
and another monitors the runs learned skills while introducing es the demand on officers.
on a video system. Both instruc- new ones. For example, at some Beyond introducing the
tors provide detailed perfor- point, the entire course will skills and techniques needed to
mance reviews. take place at dark and require respond to an active shooter,

September 2010 / 19
© Daviess County Sheriff’s Office

the department has learned that train their officers on the skills confrontation, the department
this training offers benefits that required or even expose them to believes that the shoot house
extend far beyond that specific what is involved. comes closer than a traditional
scenario to other lethal-force Second, and closely related, police qualification range.
encounters. Agency leaders the emotional and physiological
realized that these basic skills changes induced by the shoot- CONCLUSION
may prove critical to survival in house scenarios come as close The Daviess County Sher-
any situation, particularly one as possible in a training envi- iff’s Office found that while
involving more than one officer ronment to exposing officers to conducting this training takes
in a weapons-drawn encounter. stresses similar to those in an a lot of work on the part of all
First, the training requires actual shooting situation. The concerned, officer feedback has
an officer to move and engage difference between even the shown its worth. Somewhat
a threat with one or more other most challenging linear range surprisingly, several senior
officers in close proximity who setup and what officers must deputies—the ones who,
also are moving and firing. deal with in the shoot house is according to tradition, may
As common—and potentially stark; while no one ever would sometimes be less enthusiastic
tragic—as this situation is, argue that any training situation about new training concepts—
few departments can properly can duplicate a real life-or-death have been among its biggest

20 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

supporters. Throughout, the seriously the decision to provide home safe at the end of each
agency strives to conduct a safe it for officers. In the end, agen- day.
training event while equipping cy leaders based their choice
officers with potentially lifesav- on knowing that department The author and the Daviess County
ing skills. It tries to calibrate the personnel face certain hazards Sheriff’s Office thank members of the
Kentucky National Guard for making
training so that all officers gain every day as part of the nature this training possible, including Major
newfound confidence in their of their chosen profession. General Ed Tonini, adjutant general;
ability to successfully handle Because they chose to become Command Sergeant Major Greg Arm-
very difficult situations. police officers, the agency feels strong; Jim Higginbotham, firearms
The inherent challenges and that it owes them to do every- instructor; and retired Major General
D. Allen Youngman, former adjutant
risks in this kind of training thing possible to prepare them general.
caused the department to take to do their jobs well and return

Unusual Weapon

Walker Sword
Offenders may attempt to use this metal device that appears to be
an ordinary walking cane. The expandable shaft can be removed from
the handle portion to expose a knife blade, posing a
serious threat to the safety
of law enforcement officers.
The blade also could be fitted
into a walker or crutch.

September 2010 / 21
Bulletin Reports

Youth’s Needs and Services

Youth’s Needs and Services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement—
a U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and De-
linquency Prevention bulletin—presents findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential
Placement (SYRP) on how facilities have addressed youth needs, what services youth receive,
and where these services could be improved. Specifically, the bulletin details youth reports
regarding their—
• overall emotional and psychological problems and the counseling they receive in custody;
• substance abuse problems prior to entering custody and the substance abuse counseling
they receive in their facility;
• medical needs and services; and
• educational background and the educational services the facility provides to them.
The findings are based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 7,073 youth
in custody during spring 2003, using audio computer-assisted self-interview methodology.
Researchers analyzed the answers and assessed differences among subgroups of youth of-
fenders in custody based on their age, gender, and placement program (detention, corrections,
community-based, camp, or residential treatment facilities).
SYRP provides the first nationally representative findings on the needs of the population
of youth who are in custody because they are charged with or adjudicated for offenses. These
findings also are unique because they come from youth self-reports. The results reveal a broad
range of needs in the custody population, show the extent to which existing services address
these needs, and identify a number of areas in which improvements should be made. Readers
interested in additional information may access the document (NCJ 227728) at the National
Criminal Justice Reference Service’s Web site, http://www.ncjrs.gov.

© Photos.com

22 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Juveniles in Residential Placement
Juveniles in Residential Placement, 1997-2008, an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delin-
quency Prevention (OJJDP) fact sheet, provides data derived from the Census of Juveniles in
Residential Placement (CJRP) and the Juvenile Residential Facility Census (JRFC). As the
fact sheet confirms, the number of juvenile offenders in residential placement in publicly and
privately operated juvenile facilities has declined steadily since 2000. In 2008, fewer than
81,000 juvenile offenders were housed. This represents the lowest number of juvenile offend-
ers counted in a national census of juvenile facilities since 1993 when the tally was slightly
less than 79,000.
Facilities included in these data collections feature a wide range of types: secure and nonse-
cure; public (state or local), private, and tribal; and long-term and short-term holding. Juvenile
facilities are known by many different names across the country: detention centers, juvenile
halls, shelters, reception and diagnostic centers, group homes, wilderness camps, ranches,
farms, youth development centers, residential treatment centers, training or reform schools,
and juvenile correctional institutions. Some facilities resemble adult prisons or jails, some
campuses, and others houses.
In 2008, 263 juvenile offenders were in placement for every 100,000 juveniles in the gen-
eral population. CJRP reports state placement rates based on the state where the offense was
committed. Youth held out of state are counted in the state that placed them. The residential
placement rate is the number of juvenile offenders assigned a bed in a public or private facility
on the census date per 100,000 youth ages 10 through the state’s upper age of original juvenile
court jurisdiction in the general population. From 1997 to 2007, 35 states experienced declines
in their residential placement rates, 10 had increases, and 5 states and the District of Columbia
saw virtually no change.
OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book (http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb) provides access to
CJRP data through two data analysis tools, the CJRP Databook and Easy Access to the CJRP.
The Briefing Book also includes information on JRFC through bulletins that summarize each
wave of data collection.
The Juveniles in Residential Placement, 1997-2008 fact sheet (NCJ 229379) contains
additional details and charts. It is available at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s
Web site, http://www.ncjrs.gov.

Bulletin Reports is an edited collection of criminal justice studies, reports, and

project findings. Send your material for consideration to: FBI Law Enforcement
Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135. (NOTE: The material in this section
is intended to be strictly an information source and should not be considered an
endorsement by the FBI for any product or service.)

September 2010 / 23
Leadership Spotlight

Walk with Me
The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.
—James Buchanan

C ertainly, leadership is about action.

It is about making interventions and
strong decisions. It is about influencing from
It was personal and sincere. The timing was
impeccable. And, most important, besides his
offering a little sage advice from time to time,
the front, establishing a vision, and showing that conversation showed that he valued me.
people the way. Yet, sometimes leadership is Each of us recognizes the need for active
quiet. Sometimes it is simply just being there listening in our professional lives. We know
for our people: a subtle helping hand, a sup- how important it is for our people to provide
portive shoulder, someone who will listen. An their ideas and feedback about daily happen-
old proverb offers, “To listen well is as power- ings at work. However, what we do not do
ful a means of influence as to talk well and is quite as well is let our people talk about them-
as essential to all true conversation.” selves. The law enforcement community has
In the spring of 1992, I learned a very the daunting charge of preventing, mitigating,
important leadership lesson that I have turned and responding to increasing demands and
to many times over the years in my various threats on a daily basis. In this high-stakes
leadership roles. I was struggling with whether culture, our mission-driven ethos can over-
to stay in vice and narcotics or go through the look that how we lead is just as important as
promotional process for sergeant. Being a nar- the results we achieve. In the long term, the
cotics detective was the perfect job, but I was latter cannot occur without effective leader-
ambitious, too. I also had questions as to just ship. Exceptional results are not sustainable
how competitive I would be against so many in a climate where people feel undervalued
great candidates. Did I really stand a chance? and unappreciated. One of the simplest, most
How strong would the support from my chain effective ways to show our people we value
of command be? Was I really ready to be a them is to offer one-on-one time where we ask
sergeant? a couple of good questions and then sit back
I guess my lieutenant had a sixth sense (or and listen.
very good leadership skills). One evening, he If you have a few minutes this week, con-
saw me in the parking lot at the station. He sider asking one of your employees to go for a
came over to my car and very casually said, walk (figuratively or literally). The questions
“Walk with me.” I remember just a couple of you ask will change from person to person, but
minutes of small talk before he asked, “Jeff, the message will remain constant and clear:
where do you want to be in this department, I value you as an employee; I value you as a
and what can I do to get you there?” For nearly person.
an hour, we walked. For the most part, I talked, Dr. Jeff Green, chief of the FBI Leadership Develoment
and he listened. That was one of the best Unit at the FBI Academy, prepared this Leadership
conversations I have ever had with a boss. Spotlight.

24 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Legal Digest

You Have
to Speak
Up to
The Supreme
Court Revisits
the Miranda
Right to

orty-four years ago, the

F U.S. Supreme Court

handed down one of its
most famous decisions—
Miranda v. Arizona.1 In
Miranda, the Court addressed
the application of the Fifth © Thinkstock.com
Amendment privilege against
self-incrimination to in-custody
interrogations and attempted of our national culture,”3 the the invocation and waiver of the
“to give concrete constitutional practical application of Miranda Miranda right to remain silent.4
guidelines for law enforcement continues to be debated and re-
agencies and courts to follow.”2 fined. This article focuses on the Setting the Stage
Despite these guidelines and the Supreme Court’s most recent In Miranda, the Court held
fact that “Miranda has become decision in this area, Berghuis v. that “the prosecution may not
embedded in routine police Thompkins, which was decided use statements [...] stemming
practice to the point where the on June 1, 2010, and shines new from custodial interroga-
warnings have become part light on issues surrounding both tion of the defendant unless it

September 2010 / 25
demonstrates the use of pro- the rule seems straightforward Ohio for a shooting that oc-
cedural safeguards effective enough, a number of issues curred approximately 1 year
to secure the privilege against arise in cases regarding the earlier in Southfield, Michigan.
self-incrimination.”5 The proce- application of Miranda that While in custody, Thompkins
dural safeguards mandated by typically hinge on the meaning was questioned by two detec-
the Court are a specific set of of [the] terms: custody, inter- tives in a police interview room.
warnings that must be given to rogation, warning, [invocation] At the beginning of the interro-
individuals who are in custody and waiver.”8 Berghuis is one of gation, the detectives presented
and subject to interrogation.6 As these cases. Thompkins with a general set of
one modern textbook explains, As we will see, the issue Miranda warnings.9
“The formula should be as easy in Berghuis is not whether To make sure Thompkins
as 1 + 1 = 2; that is, ‘custody’ the subject was in custody or could understand English, one
+ ‘interrogation’ = the require- whether appropriate warnings of the detectives asked Thomp-
ment that Miranda warnings be were given. “The dispute cen- kins to read a portion of the
given.”7 ters on the response—or nonre- warnings out loud, which he
Once the warnings have sponse—from the suspect” once did. Thereafter, the detective
been given, subjects must waive the warnings were given. More read the rest of the warnings to
their rights before making any specifically, in Berghuis, the Thompkins and asked him to
statements that can be used Court refines the meaning and sign the form, indicating that he
against them at trial, or, in the scope of an invocation understood his rights. Thomp-
alternative, subjects may invoke and waiver of the Miranda kins refused to sign the form,
the right to silence, the Miranda right to silence. and the officers began interro-
right to counsel, or both. Once gating Thompkins. “At no point
either or both of these rights Berghuis v. Thompkins during the interrogation did
are invoked, all questioning of In Berghuis, Van Chester Thompkins say that he wanted
subjects must cease. “Although Thompkins was arrested in to remain silent, that he did not
want to talk with the police, or
that he wanted an attorney.”10
With the exception of some

minor verbal responses and
limited eye contact, Thompkins
The procedural remained silent for most of
safeguards mandated the 3-hour interview. Approxi-
by the Court are a mately 2 hours and 45 minutes
specific set of warnings into the interrogation, one of the
that must be given to detectives asked Thompkins if
individuals who are he believed in God. Thompkins
in custody and subject said that he did. The detective
to interrogation. then followed up by asking
Thompkins if he prayed to God.

Special Agent Rudd is a legal instructor at the FBI Academy.

” Thompkins said, “Yes.” The
detective then asked, “Do you
pray to God to forgive you for

26 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

shooting that boy down?” To
which, Thompkins answered,
“Yes.” Thompkins refused to
make a written statement, and
the interrogation ended.11
Court Proceedings
Thompkins filed a motion to
suppress the statements he made
during the interrogation and
claimed that his Fifth Amend-
ment right to remain silent
had been violated. The trial
court denied the motion, and
Thompkins’ admission was used
against him at trial. Thompkins
was convicted of first-degree
murder and sentenced to life in
prison without parole.
Thompkins appealed.12 The
Michigan Court of Appeals
rejected the Miranda claim,
and the Michigan Supreme
Court denied review. Thereafter,
Thompkins filed a petition for
a writ of habeas corpus in the
U.S. District Court for the East-
ern District of Michigan that © iStockphoto.com
was likewise denied. The U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit reversed the district made during the interrogation, silence in the face of question-
court ruling in favor of Thomp- Thompkins first argued that he ing was not a clear and unam-
kins.13 However, for the reasons had invoked his right to remain biguous invocation of his right
set forth herein, the Supreme silent by not saying anything for to remain silent.15 The Court
Court reversed the judgment the first 2 hours and 45 minutes noted that, unlike its earlier
of the Sixth Circuit Court of of the interrogation. If, in fact, ruling in Davis v. United States
Appeals and found no Miranda he had invoked his right to re- regarding the invocation of the
violations. main silent, it is undisputed that Miranda right to counsel, it
the officers would have been never had defined whether an
Right to Remain Silent— obligated to stop questioning.14 invocation of the right to remain
Invocation However, Justice Kennedy, silent must be unambiguous. In
In filing his motion to in writing the majority opinion, Davis, the defendant initially
suppress the statements he explained that Thompkins’ mere waived his Miranda rights and

September 2010 / 27
was interrogated for 90 minutes silence be clear and unambigu- right to silence. Two portions of
before saying, “Maybe I should ous. Namely, “an unambiguous the original Miranda decision
talk to a lawyer.” The Court invocation of Miranda rights seem to tilt the scale in Thomp-
held that if a subject is unclear, results in an objective inquiry kins’ favor on this issue. First,
ambiguous, or equivocal in that ‘avoid[s] difficulties of the Miranda Court said, “a valid
requesting a lawyer, officers can proof and…provide[s] guidance waiver will not be presumed
ignore the reference and pro- to officers’ on how to proceed in simply from the silence of the
ceed with the interrogation.16 the face of ambiguity.”17 Ac- accused after warnings are giv-
In Berghuis, the Court cordingly, Berghuis does for the en or simply from the fact that
acknowledged that “there is no invocation of the right to silence a confession was in fact eventu-
principled reason to adopt dif- what Davis did for the invoca- ally obtained.”18 Additionally,
ferent standards for determining tion of the right to counsel—it “a heavy burden rests on the
when an accused has invoked mandates that an invocation of government to demonstrate that
the Miranda right to remain either Miranda right must be the defendant knowingly and in-
silent and the Miranda right clear and unambiguous to be telligently waived his privilege
to counsel at issue in Davis. effective. against self-incrimination....”19
[...] Both protect the privilege However, the Supreme
against compulsory self-incrim- Right to Remain Silent— Court has clarified its posi-
ination […] by requiring an in- Waiver tion with respect to the waiver
terrogation to cease when either Thompkins next argued that since the Miranda decision.
right is invoked.” Moreover, the absent an invocation of his right The impact has been to keep
Court explained that there are to silence, his statements still Miranda focused on the right
practical reasons for requiring should be suppressed because to refrain from speaking and
that an invocation of the right to he never adequately waived his to consult with an attorney. As
the Court in Berghuis noted,
“The main purpose of Miranda
is to ensure that an accused is
advised of and understands the
right to remain silent and the
right to counsel….20 Thus, ‘if
anything, our subsequent cases
have reduced the impact of the
Miranda rule on legitimate law
enforcement while reaffirming
the decision’s core ruling that
unwarned statements may not
be used as evidence in the pros-
ecution’s case in chief.’”21
Two cases clarify the Su-
preme Court’s position with
respect to waiver—Colorado v.
© Stockdisc Connelly22 and North Carolina

28 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

v. Butler.23 In Colorado, the given and that it was understood a rule that requires a waiver at
Court explained that the “heavy by the accused, an accused’s the outset.”27
burden” in Miranda requires uncoerced statement establishes The Court further noted
that the prosecution prove waiv- an implied waiver of the right practical reasons why a waiver
er by a mere “preponderance of to remain silent.” Moreover, the should not be required for an
the evidence” standard.24 Court noted that “the record in interrogation to begin. “Interro-
With regard to the Butler this case shows that Thomp- gation provides the suspect with
opinion, Justice Kennedy noted kins waived his right to remain additional information that can
in Berghuis that “the Court silent.” 26 put his or her decision to waive,
in Butler therefore ‘retreated’ or not to invoke, into perspec-
from the ‘language and tenor tive. As questioning commences

of the Miranda opinion,’ which and then continues, the suspect
‘suggested that the Court would has the opportunity to consider
require that a waiver…be …if a subject is the choices he or she faces and
‘specifically made.’” In Butler, unclear, ambiguous, to make a more informed deci-
the defendant was arrested for or equivocal in sion, either to insist on silence
armed robbery, kidnapping, and or to cooperate.”28
requesting a lawyer,
assault. FBI agents then provid- In the end, the Court ex-
ed him with Miranda warnings. officers can ignore plained that “the primary
Once the agents were satisfied the reference and protection afforded suspects
that the subject understood proceed with the subject to custodial interroga-
his rights, he was told that he interrogation. tion is the Miranda warnings
did not need to speak with the themselves.”29 “The Miranda

agents nor did he need to sign rule and its requirements are
the Miranda form. The defen- met if a suspect receives ad-
dant declared, “I will talk to you equate Miranda warnings,
but I am not signing any form.” Initiation of Interrogations understands them, and has an
He then made several incrimi- Without a Waiver opportunity to invoke the rights
nating statements. The Court, Finally, Thompkins argued before giving any answers or
in Butler, allowed for the use of that even if his answer to police admissions.”30 Accordingly,
these statements against the de- questioning constituted a waiver “after giving a Miranda warn-
fendant at trial. In Berghuis, the of his right to remain silent, ing, police may interrogate a
Court stated, “Butler made clear “the police were not allowed to suspect who has neither invoked
that a waiver of Miranda rights question him until they obtained nor waived his or her Miranda
may be implied through ‘the de- a waiver first.” The majority rights.”31
fendant’s silence, coupled with disagreed and noted a direct “In sum, a suspect who has
an understanding of his rights conflict between Thompkins’ received and understood the
and a course of conduct indicat- argument and the Court’s earlier Miranda warnings, and has not
ing waiver.’”25 ruling in Butler, which allows invoked his Miranda rights,
In Berghuis, the Court held, courts to infer a waiver from a waives the right to remain silent
“Where the prosecution shows subject’s actions: “This prin- by making an uncoerced state-
that a Miranda warning was ciple would be inconsistent with ment to the police. Thompkins

September 2010 / 29
did not invoke his right to to speak up if they truly want to 1) You have the right to remain silent.
remain silent and stop the remain silent. 2) Anything you say can and will be
used against you in a court of law.
questioning. Understanding his 3) You have a right to talk to a lawyer
rights in full, he waived his Endnotes before answering any questions and
right to remain silent by making 1
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 you have the right to have a lawyer
a voluntary statement to the (1966). present with you while you are
police. The police, moreover, 2
Id., at 442, 443. answering any questions.
Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 4) If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer,
were not required to obtain a one will be appointed to represent
428, 120 S. Ct. 2326 (2000) at 2336.
waiver of Thompkins’ right to 4
Berghuis v. Thompkins, 560 U.S. ____ you before any questioning, if you
remain silent before interrogat- (2010). wish one.
ing him.” 5
Id., at 445. 5) You have the right to decide at any
time before or during questioning
Conclusion to use your right to remain silent

and your right to talk with a lawyer
Berghuis is the latest in a
while you are being questioned.”
line of Supreme Court cases 10
that attempt to clarify the pa- 11
rameters and provide practical …police officers are 12
Thompkins also filed a motion for a
guidance to law enforcement not required to new trial claiming ineffective assistance of
officers and the courts regard- obtain a waiver of counsel. This motion was likewise denied
a defendant’s right and followed the appeal regarding alleged
ing the procedural safeguards Miranda violations to the Supreme Court.
first promulgated in Miranda. to remain silent 13
The Sixth Circuit also ruled in favor
In summary, the Berghuis Court before beginning of Thompkins on the ineffective-assis-
held that 1) a custodial subject’s an interrogation. tance-of-counsel claims.
Miranda, at 446. In Michigan v.
invocation of the Miranda right

Mosley, 423 U.S. 96 (1975), the Court
to silence must be unambigu- explained that when a subject invokes his
ous. Mere silence, even for an right to silence, all questioning must cease.
extended period of time, does However, the Court further held that the in-
not constitute an invocation of 6
In Miranda, the Court held that a vocation of the right to remain silent does
suspect in custody “must be warned prior not mean that police never may resume
the right to silence. 2) A custo- questioning. Indeed, in Mosley, the Court
to any questioning that he has the right to
dial subject’s waiver of the right remain silent, that anything he says can be held that the police had scrupulously hon-
to silence may be implied— used against him in a court of law, that he ored the suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights
once a subject has been suf- has the right to the presence of an attorney, when a different officer questioned the sub-
ficiently “Mirandized,” merely and that if he cannot afford an attorney ject in a different location about a different
one will be appointed for him prior to any crime after 2 hours had elapsed since the
responding to an interrogator’s subject invoked his right to silence. (Note,
questioning if he so desires.” at 479.
questions could be considered a 7
Larry Holtz, CONTEMPORARY CRIMINAL this differs from an invocation of the right
waiver of the right to silence.32 PROCEDURE, LexisNexis, Tenth Edition, to counsel, wherein officers would not be
And, 3) police officers are not 2008, 702. allowed to reinitiate contact after merely
required to obtain a waiver of 8
John N. Ferdico, Henry F. Fradella, the passage of time. See Edwards v.
Christopher D. Totten, CRIMINAL PROCE- Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981) and
a defendant’s right to remain
DURE FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFES- Maryland v. Shatzer, 559 U.S. ___ (2010).)
silent before beginning an inter- SIONAL, Tenth Edition, 2009, 688.
Justice Kennedy delivered the 5-4
rogation. Under this new ruling, 9
Id. “Notification of Constitutional opinion of the Court, in which Chief Jus-
it is clear that subjects will have Rights and Statement tice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas,

30 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

23 31
and Alito joined. Justice Sotomayor filed North Carolina v. Butler, 441 U.S. Id.
a dissenting opinion, in which Justices 369 (1979). Id. Of course, the government still is
Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined. State courts, however, may require under an obligation to show that the waiver
Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 a higher standard. In New Jersey, for ex- was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.
(1994). ample, the prosecution must prove waiver
Berghuis. “beyond a reasonable doubt.” See State v.
18 Law enforcement officers of other than
Miranda, at 475. Galloway, 133 N.J. 631, 654 (1993).
19 25
federal jurisdiction who are interested
Id. Berghuis.
20 26
in this article should consult their legal
Davis, at 460; Moran v. Burbine, 475 Id.
advisors. Some police procedures ruled
U.S. 412, at 427 (1986). Id. permissible under federal constitutional
21 28
Dickerson, at 443-444. Id. law are of questionable legality under
22 29
Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157 Id., quoting Davis, at 460. state law or are not permitted at all.
(1986). Id.

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FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

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FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
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GENERAL INFORMATION leb.htm for the expanded author guidelines,

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin is an which contain additional specifications, detailed
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32 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

The Bulletin Notes

Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each
challenge freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions
warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize
those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.

While on a routine prisoner transport, Sergeant

Daniel Shaffery and Officer Frank Salerno of the Little
Silver, New Jersey, Police Department observed a
vehicle with a large tree limb piercing its windshield
traveling in the opposite direction. The driver was wav-
ing his arms frantically in an attempt to get the officers’
attention. Officer Salerno turned the patrol car around
and reported the incident to the dispatch center. After the
driver’s vehicle came to a stop, Sergeant Shaffery and
Sergeant Shaffery Officer Salerno
Officer Salerno approached it and determined that the
limb had fallen from above, penetrated the windshield,
and impaled the front passenger through the chest and pinned her to the seat. She was unrespon-
sive and bleeding profusely. Officer Salerno began to render first aid, and Sergeant Shaffery
returned to the patrol vehicle to update the report and to request emergency response. Sergeant
Shaffery then brought a first-aid kit to the vehicle. At this time, Officer Salerno had established
an airway for the victim. She began breathing, albeit labored. Officer Salerno continued to hold
the victim’s neck steady, thus keeping her airway open and stabilizing her spine and neck, and
stayed with her until her safe removal from the vehicle. Sergeant Shaffery maintained scene
safety and directed emergency responders as they arrived. Other officers arrived to complete the
transport of the prisoner, and Sergeant Shaffery and Officer Salerno took the driver home so he
could meet with his daughter and travel with her to the hospital.

One day, a man became entrapped in a hole at his farm. Deputy

Kenneth Koehler of the Scott County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office responded to the
emergency call. Upon his arrival, Deputy Koehler saw that water from the
heavy rainfall was quickly filling the hole and was up to the man’s neck. The
elderly victim had become injured and hypothermic after being trapped for
nearly 4 hours. Quickly,
Deputy Koehler lifted the Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based
man out of the hole and on either the rescue of one or more citizens or arrest(s)
held him until the arrival made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions
should include a short write-up (maximum of 250 words),
Deputy Koehler
of emergency responders. a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter
from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the
nomination. Submissions should be sent to the Editor,
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Outreach
and Communications Unit, Quantico, VA 22135.
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Patch Call

The patch of the Ridgetop, Tennessee, Police Jefferson County, Washington, is located in the
Department features a train emerging from a northwest corner of the state, as well as the conti-
railroad tunnel, constructed in 1905 and one of the nental U.S. The patch of its police department
longest self-supporting tunnels in the world. features the Olympic Mountain Range, along
When completed, it opened a direct line between with 7,800-foot Mt. Olympus, a majestic old tree,
Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville and brought and a river representing any one of the dozens on
expansion, both in population and economy. the Olympic Peninsula.