Trust between law enforcement and the people they protect and serve is essential. When citizens lose trust in the police force, grave consequences result, including creating a divided community.

cbt-landing7Created by researchers at Washington State University, Dr. Lois James and Dr. Stephen James, Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim) is an evidence-based scenario training that can help police across the nation understand and be aware of what goes into decision making in potentially life-threatening situations. CBTsim provides a solution for police forces to utilize high-quality, scenario based, judgment training that conditions officers to respond on indicators of threat and not demographics.

“In the various simulated scenarios, the suspect’s characteristics—age, gender, race, socio-economic status, level of intoxication, mental state—are not predictably related to the outcome, or whether or not use of deadly force on the part of the officer is required,” Dr. L. James said.

During CBTsim trainings, officers respond to various authentic scenarios, and then engage in comprehensive self, peer, and instructor-led debriefing to understand motivations to use or hold deadly force. The simulation scenarios were developed by WSU, based on more than 30 years of data pulled from officer-involved shootings — then reviewed by top academic and practitioner experts.

With funding from the WSU Office of Commercialization in early 2016, Dr. L. James has been able to turn one of the deadly force judgment and decision making simulators into a portable system. With the portable system, WSU can now offer “Counter Bias Training Simulation” to police departments around the country.

This week, Dr. James officially launched the CBTSim product with police officers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Summit on Trending Issues in Policing in San Diego, CA. Working in collaboration with the communications team at the College of Nursing, a logo, website, and marketing materials were created to support this new initiative.