The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of engineering resilience into the split-second decision environment police officers face during potential deadly force encounters. Using a randomized controlled experiment that incorporated a police firearms training simulator and 313 active law enforcement officers, this study examined the effects of muzzle-position – where an officer points their weapon – on both officer response time to legitimate threats and the likelihood for misdiagnosis shooting errors when no threat was present. The results demonstrate that officers can significantly improve shoot/no-shoot decision-making without sacrificing a significant amount of time by taking a lower muzzle-position when they are dealing with an ambiguously armed person – a person whose hands are not visible. “Engineering Resilience” Into Split-Second Shoot/No Shoot Decisions: The Effect of Muzzle-Position
While there will no doubt be differing opinions as to the right approach it’s clear that officer weapon positioning is a vital contributor factor with interactions, especially when it is not clear as to whether the individual being engaged with is armed.
You can read the full paper (£) on the Sage Journal website