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Low Enrollment Notice - PM viewing of Officer Involved Documentary

8/24/2016 12:00:00 AM

"Officer Involved" Documentary:Reality of Use of Force in Law Enforcement The September 6th eveningviewing (7:30pm -9:30 pm) is in danger of cancelation due to low enrollment. The 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm viewing will be held as planned.The evening viewing HAS NOT been canceled, but it is in danger of cancelation. It is very important to register in advance if you are planning to attend

A status decision for the evening session will be determined on August 31, 2016.


DATE: September 6, 2016TIMES: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm or 7:30 pm 9:30 pm(doors open 1 hour prior to event)LOCATION: Sterling Theater, 402 Locust Street, Sterling, IL


The Sterling Theater refreshment counter will be open for purchases

Invited -law enforcement officers and their significant others, 911 Operators/Dispatchers, L.E. civilian staff, fire/police commissioners, state representatives, state senators, state attorneys & staff, coroners, mayors, city managers, city council members, county board members, Force review boards.

COURSE content_ This one-hour and 43-minute documentary reveals the reality of the law enforcement psyche through the moving experiences of officers who have faced the moment of truth and the aftermath of shooting a civilian.Some still tear up when speaking years later about their taking of a life, though they are far from being broken human beings. All talk candidly. Their observations can impact the thinking of other officers who have used--or have yet to use--deadly force, of administrators whose departments might be beset with the fallout from an OIS, and of citizens who may inevitably question LEO motives in light of the anti-police narratives persistently spun by activist partisans.Officer Involved is the remarkable product of the passionate commitment of a young officer and his wife who learned the craft of filmmaking specifically to create this motion picture.It premiered at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Assn. (ILEETA) in 2016. Now it's on a cross-country screening tour.LONG ROADS. In 2015 Patrick Shaver, a patrol officer with a large metropolitan department in Georgia, and his wife Carla filmed interviews with Force Science Instructor Dr. Alexis Artwohl and with Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute (see Force Science News #276, 2/24/15 in the newsletter archives at that point, they were over a year into their research. This herculean effort eventually involved more than 90 interviews with OIS survivors and human behavior experts and thousands of highway miles.MOST STRESSFUL THING. The film opens with an officer's voice-over: "I used to think the easiest thing to do was to make a deadly force decision. 'He tries to kill me, so I kill him.' It's not that simple." And of all the complexities, experts are inclined to agree, by far the most stressful thing is the aftermath.Thus launched, in Patrick Shaver's words, the film takes "the tunnel to the heart of the question: what's it like to be an officer involved."CHALLENGES. In a seamless flow, the film offers intimate accounts from those who've "been there" about the arc of post-shooting challenges, including among others:
  • Family reactions. One chief recalls that all he wanted when he first arrived home after killing a suspect was a reassuring hug from his wife. But her reaction was stone-cold stoicism. "It caused a lot of problems between us," he says. Another survivor asks plaintively: "How do you tell your kids that Daddy shot someone?"
  • Insomnia. Several survivors talk about sleeplessness, with one having tossed and turned across five weeks before he got a decent night's sleep. Says another: "You just wouldn't believe how many times your mind replays it and replays it and replays it. And it literally jolts you every time."
  • Media. The media take a major drubbing for "exaggerated or completely false" reporting. After one officer shot a woman, the media reported that she was holding a puppy at the time ("not true"), with no mention of the gun she had. On social media, "facts" may morph into fantastical scenarios that are nowhere close to what actually happened.
  • Departmental issues. Some officers talk about ways in which their departments supported them after the smoke cleared, but for others the story was much different. One officer explains that he consciously decided he would let an offender get off the first round in their confrontation because he was "terrified at the possible repercussions." Justifiably, it seems; his chief walked up to him at the scene and said, "You are one of the most cursed individuals I have ever met. You are a shit magnet."
  • Survivor guilt. One officer breaks down crying when he talks about a shooting in which his partner was killed. He didn't know how to process the guilt he felt at still being alive. "My daughter had a father, his daughters didn't," he says. Another says he will "never understand" why a young woman put him in a position that forced him to shoot her. "I wanted to help her. When I first got there, I envisioned sitting and talking to her. Not a day goes by that I don't see her face and wish she had let me help her."
  • Liability. One officer describes shooting an unarmed black teenager whom he mistakenly thought was drawing a gun from his waistband. Riots, fires, looting, "total chaos" ensued and "I felt responsible for everything taking place, the weight of all that on me." After a month in limbo, he learned he'd been indicted for negligent homicide by watching tv. At trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a thoroughly reckless individual, yet he was found not guilty. He fully understands the fear of civil and/or criminal liability that haunts shooting survivors.
  • Re-entry. Coming back to work for some is a continuation of pain. One officer recalls being greeted as he walked into the station with a jaunty, "Hey, Killer!" But for others, returning to the job is a triumph. An officer who'd been wounded in a shooting drove his patrol car to the exact location where he'd been shot, picked up his mic, and announced, "I'm on duty." "Welcome back," the dispatcher radioed back...and one by one fellow officers on patrol echoed the same greeting.
  • Resolution. Long term, says Dr. David Klinger, a prominent researcher and CJ professor, "most police officers are resilient. They triumph in a shooting and then they integrate it into their life experience and they move forward." Artwohl agrees: "Usually the brain begins to accept it and you think about it less and less. Eventually, like any other exciting or stressful memory, it doesn't have that same sense of intensity."
PUBLIC DISCONNECT. One of the academic experts the Shavers integrate into Officer Involved, Dr. Matthew Sharps, a forensic cognitive scientist with Fresno (CA) State University, points out that "Most people have a vastly different view of police work than is accurate." His research shows just how colossal the public disconnect is regarding use of deadly force specifically.Sharps surveyed LEOs and civilians on whether a suspect pointing a gun directly at a police officer constitutes a "must shoot" situation. The cops all agreed that it did. But only 11% of civilians thought so.When Sharps asked civilians their views on when an officer should shoot, he got "amazing feedback." Such as: "An officer should not shoot unless he knows exactly what the suspect is thinking"; if the suspect is threatening another person, the officer has to convince the suspect to drop the gun; an officer should shoot "only if he is certain [the suspect has] a real gun"; an officer should only shoot an offender's arm or leg to take him down, "not to kill"; and so on.In one of several appearances in the film, Dr. Lewinski debunks the myth that intentional limb-targeting is a practical means of stopping threatening suspects and explains the "eye-blink speed" at which attacks on LEOs are likely to occur, often a pivotal factor in officer decision-making and reaction.Invited -law enforcement officers and their significant others, 911 Operators/Dispatchers, L.E. civilian staff, fire/police commissioners, state attorneys & staff, coroners, mayors, city managers, city council members, county board members, Force review boards.

Partial funding provided by Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and MTU#1's request for certification of this course has been approved by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board

 State Training Board Certificates will only be issued to law enforcement& correction officers & dispatch personnel

Attendees must register prior to the event

REGISTRATION: On-line registration is located at on the MTU#1 website.



P.W. Shaver is an active-duty police officer in the State of Georgia (Atlanta). He holds his Bachelor's Degree from the University at Buffalo and Masters of Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University. He has lived in Ireland and his studies have taken him through the Middle East. He is an instructor and is crisis intervention (CIT) certified.

Beginning his career in healthcare, he found his niche in public service and served in crisis counseling before becoming an officer. He currently works among the finest men and women in law enforcement. Some of his previous projects have included transcript analysis on a major industrial disaster and a study on Terror Management Theory (TMT) and Mortality Salience effects on group cohesion among police recruits. Most recently, he co-authored an analysis of dialogue and discourse surrounding student action on the boycott and divestment decision at UC Berkeley, published in 2012 in the Journal of Peace and Change.

He is also the founder of IndieClever Media, LLC., an all-things media company established for the production of Officer Involved.
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