(Media Advisory) Fairfax County Police Department Use-of-Force Critical Decision-Making Training: Media Day

The Chief of Police for the Fairfax County Police Department, Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., extends an invitation to the media to attend and observe the department’s re-engineered use-of-force critical decision-making training at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy on March 29.

The re-engineered use-of-force training has been developed over the last few years with the assistance of professional organizations, Police Scotland, vendors, Fairfax County police officers, and members of our diverse Fairfax County communities. Chief Roessler has mandated this training to occur on an annual basis as the knowledge, skills, and abilities used in critical decision-making related to use-of-force are perishable skills that require at a minimum, annual training to effect positive outcomes in each and every critical event we respond to.

Media will be provided an overview of the re-engineering process, a history of the department’s training related to critical decision-making, and observe and/or participate in the same training as sworn officers. Media will learn key concepts of critical decision-making required of officers through a series of mock real-life scenarios they often encounter in their daily duties. The training is designed to help each officer practice critical decision-making skills and assessment and improve upon their already high level of training standards, in which the department is a national leader.

The training will consist of the following exercises:

Virtual training: Using new virtual scenario technology, officers will be equipped with duty gear that has been altered and fitted with laser technology, then “respond to and handle” a call for service. The call for service could be any of 500 scenarios programmed into the software and shown on a large interactive video screen. The program is designed to respond to each officer’s decisions and actions.

Table top discussion: As a group, officers will watch a video of a real incident, then discuss with each other and with staff what took place, if there could have been a different outcome and how they believe they might approach the situation at hand.

Mock scenarios: Through the use of community role players, officers will respond to an event and test their communication and decision-making skills.

Overall, many law enforcement agencies around the country are migrating toward this new critical decision-making use-of-force training and the Fairfax County Police Department is proactively setting a national standard through engagement with the profession and our community to enhance the preservation of the sanctity of life for all. Chief Roessler extends his warm welcome to all media so they can share our efforts with our great community.

WHEN:      Tuesday, March 29, 12:30 to 3 p.m.
WHERE:    Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy
(14601 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA 20151)
RSVP:          PFC Tawny Wright (PIO) 703-246-2253

Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. and Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova, will be available for individual interviews between 12:30 and 1 p.m. The training will begin promptly at 1 p.m. Media are asked to RSVP by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 29. This event is not open to the public. Parking is available.

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