Training the Ethical Protector


Ethical Protector

Hi All,

There is a gap in most (yes, most) law enforcement, public safety, police, and security training programs.  If your agency or organization is not suffering from this gap, then perhaps this article is not for you.  I caution you, however, to not allow ego to so quickly pull you away.  Ego blinds and is ever-present in protection circles.

Please see this great article by Jack Hoban.  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hoban, you should be.  See a brief bio of him here.  Some of his books are recommended at the end of this article.

The article referenced here is about how to train Law Enforcement Officers, Security Officers, and other Protection Professionals to be Ethical Protectors/Guardians/Warriors.  This is a subject about which Mr. Hoban has spent a long time defining and sharing.

In this article, he writes: “…experience has shown that superior results may require more than just the right elements — those elements have to be introduced into the training in a certain way.”

The long and short of his brief and excellent article is that how we train is as (perhaps more) important than the disparate training topics which are trained.  Indeed, the issue could be that we allow training topics to remain disparate in the first place.  We treat them as separate in training, despite the fact that, in the field, they are all manifested, and blended together, in action.  So instead of tactical training occurring on a gun range, verbal training in a classroom, and legal/ethical training occurring in another classroom, we should, instead, be training Protection Professionals in how they will actually be putting into action all of them collectively together.  Namely, they should be blended in a dynamic training atmosphere depicting the setting in which the staff will actually be performing them for real, that is, the streets of the community, the halls of the hospital, etc.

A fresh analysis should also be given to how topics are weighted.  Hoban points out that, if training is not sophisticated enough, with each subject given its proper due, then disasters occur in the real world.  Under-training in one area (e.g., the conspicuous absence of quality training in civil professionalism and conflict communication) and over-training in other areas set staff up for failure in the real world.  As Hoban shares: “This disconnect between ethics, tactics, and techniques can cause problems at all levels of activity, from a car stop to a major operation.”

A big take-away from Hoban’s article is that one needs to precisely define one’s training philosophy.  That comes first.  Everything else follows.  Without a clearly defined philosophy of service, the ethics, tactics, and techniques may outwardly look tactical and cool, but will nonetheless be shoddy and without a sophisticated enough foundation to serve staff, minimize injuries, reduce lawsuits, etc.

Please read his excellent article for how we can learn from our military disciplines, and the value of values-tie-ins, the Universal Life Value, and how to create Ethical Protectors.

We should always be seeking to evolve our training to where Protection Professionals contribute far more to our society than simply chasing bad guys.  Done rightly, Law Enforcement and Security Professionals have the power to change society for the better.  They have the power to be Change Agents.

Recommended reading (authored by Jack Hoban):

The Ethical Warrior: Values, Morals and Ethics – For Life, Work and Service

The Ethical Protector: Police Ethics, Tactics and Techniques



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