California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 13

speed is necessary but it must always be situationally appropriate. When it comes to armor, the trends are encouraging with more officers routinely wearing armor but there is much room for improvement. The 2014 FBI LEOKA preliminary report noted that only 35 of the 46 officers killed by firearms were known to be wearing body armor. With more than 3,000 documented saves, we know that body armor works – but only when it’s worn. WIN–What’s Important Now? The concept of What’s Important Now (WIN) is one of the most powerful and comprehensive concepts in officer safety. Essentially, WIN is a combination of situational awareness and conscious decision-making that ensures an officer is continually reassessing the environment and placing priority on factors most relevant to safety. It’s important to understand that WIN is fluid and ever-changing. Look at the dynamics of a traffic stop and you can readily understand the concept. During the course of one stop, an officer will consider these key factors: 1) Does the violation merit a stop? 2) What are the visible risk factors associated with the vehicle and occupants? 3) When and where to initiate the stop 4) Reaction of the driver and occupants 5) Hazards of other traffic 6) The approach. 7) Maintaining focus (rather than taking a phone call or texting). And so on. The point is t o ensure decisions are based on a continual assessment of “What’s Important Now?” Is Below 100 Evolving and Real World? In late 2012, Below 100 trainers identified tire deflation devices (TDDs) as being responsible for more than two dozen line of duty deaths and hundreds of crippling and career- ending injuries. Program content was modified to address this issue. Early in 2014, Below 100 trainers recognized that heart attacks were the third leading cause of line of duty deaths (behind vehicle-related and gunfire deaths). As a result, training now includes emphasis on physical fitness under the WIN and Complacency segments. As the value of self-treatment and buddy- treatment became apparent, Below 100 training incorporated discussion of tourniquet use. Emphasis was placed on training and having the tourniquet readily available and accessible by either hand. Who Controls Below 100? In November of 2014, Below 100 trainers formed a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation. A board of directors, composed of the most experienced and veteran trainers, oversees the operation and sets priorities for delivering the training. The organization is a completely voluntary group and no one receives compensation for their training efforts. Below 100 trainers believe the best way to honor the fallen is by training the living. If you would like more information on Below 100, please watch the video at or go to  ■ ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dale Stockton, Executive Director, Below 100 Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement, having worked in all areas of police operations and retiring as a police captain from Carlsbad, California. He is a graduate of the 201st FBI National Academy, the California Supervisory Leadership Institute, the FBI Southwest Command College and holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, in Criminology, Law and Society. He has served as a Commissioner for California POST and has been recognized as the most widely published public safety writer and photographer in the country. He has taught criminal justice classes for more than 20 years and is the Editor-in-Chief of Law Officer Magazine and Stockton is the architect of Below 100, an officer-safety initiative designed to reduce police line-of-deaths, and has been involved in the presentation of the program across North America. SPRING 2017 | California Police Chief 13