I would like to comment on the article, “Head Up, Eyes Open”, by Hondo in the 10/30/2015 blog. I too have a background in law enforcement and am currently working as a full-time trainer with a state academy. I will strongly agree with the author that the vast majority of people in public are tied to their “smart phone” or some sort of attention-stealing electronic device. Professionals in the criminal justice field are not immune. Just this last week, while working with two significantly different groups of trainees, I noted that at every break the first thing upon clearing the class area was that a large number pulled out a device and started using it, with heads down walking out and reading or whatever at the same time. It was really striking to me for one group as they had just completed an academic segment on Use of Force yet seem to have no awareness.
I used the opportunity when the class reconvened to point out this “flaw” in awareness, but I fear most of the trainees didn’t get it and will not work on correcting this dangerous habit. It will be good that many of them will be assigned where they can’t carry their electronic crutch and will (hopefully) remember to maintain situational awareness. Those in a criminal justice field who have these electronic companions in any environment, on duty or off, are well advised to keep their reliance on them to a bare minimum and to use common sense as should any member of the public at large. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Signed: A Trainer