Evaluating Performance of Law Enforcement Personnel during a Stressful Training Scenario

Abstract: Police trainees who were ready to graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) volunteered to participate in an exercise designed to evaluate their survivability. In a highly stressful interactive scenario, which included a hostage situation, performance was evaluated for a range of responses, including: shooting judgment and accuracy, communications, and coping with a weapon malfunction. Nineteen percent of subjects shot the hostage, a failure rate that falls in the reported range of friendly fire casualties in military combat. The Spielberger Trait Anger Scale showed an association with shot placement and performance during the gunfight as well as with overall performance scores.