Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

William Lewinski

Behaviour Scientist

Situation Awareness under extreme stress like police shootings

William Lewinksi of Minnesota State University is a world leading behaviour scientist, specializing in law enforcement related issues. Dr. Lewinksi’s Ph.D. is in psychology with a concentration in police psychology, and he is a Professor Emiritus at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he taught, was program director and chairperson for almost three decades. He founded and directs the Force Science Institute, an organization that brings together experts from across academic and research disciplines to study officer behaviour in force encounters. His current focus is perception, attention and memory, and his research has appeared in a variety of journals and media, including 48 Hours Investigates, BBC’s Panorama, and the Canadian Discovery Channe

"The speed of threat is faster than the first response. Tool and training are essential to manage risk and threats, but appreciating the environment and the external factors is important to allow adjustment to the threat as it evolves. Police officers are trained to be competent through attaining skills, and the use of resources and tools available to them to do their job. The successful performers operate in high stress situations by transcending these tools; their actions become automatic, subconscious, they are able to perceive their environment and the threats that otherwise may have been missed. It is important to understand the threatening environment; focusing solely on the tools to address a problem, pulls you away from the evolving process. "