Broadening Situational Awareness - An Ecological Dynamics-Approach on Officer Safety and Officer Safety Training

Publications: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Research units


Dealing professionally with the potential for violence that exists in the police profession is part of the everyday work of police officers. Geared towards the German situation, the concept of officer safety, which is anchored in training and practice, provides the central orientation for this. The paper argues for a comprehensive understanding of officer safety from the perspective of ecological dynamics, which direct impacts the scope of situational awareness and associated training. We provide the argument, that the key means of officer safety is communication, with the use of means being highly context dependent. As such, violent communication respectively violence as communication can be just as necessary as de-escalation, physical proximity be appropriate as well as distance. Navigating professionally through this context-dependent complexity needs a broad understanding of situational awareness that goes beyond the recognition of possible danger cues. According to this conceptualization we conclude by outlining several practical implications for police officers, police training and police organizations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Law Enforcement Research Bulletin
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15.09.2022

ID: 8720524

View graph of relations