How Evi­dence-Based De-Escala­ti­on Trai­ning Ensu­res Long-Term Suc­cessful Body Cam Deploy­ment — Guest Post By Udo Kluttig.

Many secu­ri­ty and ser­vice per­son­nel are sub­ject to vio­lent attacks — inclu­ding train atten­dants on local and long-distance trains. Often, even pas­sen­gers are affec­ted. To coun­ter con­flict situa­tions, trans­por­ta­ti­on com­pa­nies are incre­asing­ly tur­ning to tech­ni­cal solu­ti­ons such as body cams to ensu­re the safe­ty of staff and fel­low passengers.

To explo­re the poten­ti­al of the body cam, a field stu­dy was con­duc­ted on behalf of the sta­te of North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia on the regu­lar use of body cams in trains of the SPNV around Colo­gne, which was eva­lua­ted by LOGO. The stu­dy, con­duc­ted bet­ween 2018 and 2020, focu­sed among other things on inves­ti­ga­ting the de-escala­ting effect of the body cams and their accep­tance among employees and pas­sen­gers. As a result, an evi­dence-based trai­ning con­cept for body cam-wea­ring (train) per­son­nel has been deve­lo­ped, the key ele­ments of which are pre­sen­ted in the cour­se of the article.

NetCo’s body cams, which fea­ture a powerful bat­tery and a lar­ge, high-qua­li­ty dis­play, were also used in this study.

What Is The Result Of The Body Cam Effect Study? 

The stu­dy con­duc­ted shows the pre­ven­ti­ve pro­per­ties of the body cam and pro­ves that the body came­ras con­tri­bu­te to an increased sen­se of secu­ri­ty on trains. Accor­din­gly, over 90% of the secu­ri­ty per­son­nel and pas­sen­gers invol­ved have a high level of accep­tance for the body cam as a tech­ni­cal means of pro­mo­ting secu­ri­ty. Only a small num­ber of pas­sen­gers are cri­ti­cal of the body cam due to data pro­tec­tion reasons and inter­fe­rence with per­so­nal rights.

The body cam as a means of deploy­ment the­r­e­fo­re has a cal­ming and pre­ven­ti­ve effect and is rated posi­tively by the stu­dy test group. Howe­ver, it was also found out that this effect is not auto­ma­ti­cal­ly gua­ran­teed with the appli­ca­ti­on of the came­ra, but that it requi­res a pro­fes­sio­nal hand­ling to be able to use the com­ple­te poten­ti­al of the body cam.  The­r­e­fo­re, it is essen­ti­al to train the staff cor­rect­ly and evi­dence-based befo­re using the body cam.

How Is The Staff Best Pre­pared For The Body Cam Operation? 

The results of the body cam impact stu­dy were used to deri­ve con­tent for de-escala­ti­on trai­ning, so that staff are pro­tec­ted from assaults, which can also be attri­bu­ted to wea­ring the body cam, among other things.

Important com­pon­ents of a body cam de-escala­ti­on trai­ning are sum­ma­ri­zed as follows:

  • Tech­ni­cal aspects
  • Legal aspects
  • Atti­tu­di­nal and beha­vi­oral elements
  • Use of at least one func­tio­ning body cam

In the run-up to a body cam deploy­ment, the per­son­nel must be fami­lia­ri­zed with all the tech­ni­cal func­tions of the body cam so that every grip is in place when a situa­ti­on comes to a head. It is also important to deal with the legal aspects so that the body cam can be used in com­pli­ance with the law and the regu­la­ti­ons on data pro­tec­tion can be cle­ar­ly explai­ned to passengers.

In addi­ti­on to tech­ni­cal and legal aspects, inten­si­ve atten­ti­on should also be paid to con­vey­ing atti­tu­de and beha­vi­or-rela­ted ele­ments: In order to mini­mi­ze the pro­ba­bi­li­ty of escala­ti­on, situa­tions must be cor­rect­ly asses­sed. In this con­text, it is cru­cial when and how the body came­ra is poin­ted out and when it is acti­va­ted in a cri­ti­cal situa­ti­on. If staff act insen­si­tively and acti­va­te the body came­ra too ear­ly, for exam­p­le, this can have a demons­tra­b­ly coun­ter­pro­duc­ti­ve and self-har­ming effect.

Fur­ther­mo­re, it should be ensu­red that at least one func­tio­ning body cam is used during the trai­ning so that the emer­gen­cy per­son­nel can not only be shown the body cam in detail, but can also test the cor­rect hand­ling of the came­ra. In addi­ti­on, only the eva­lua­ti­on of the con­ver­sa­ti­on simu­la­ti­on can reve­al cont­act and posi­tio­ning errors, becau­se if the came­ra does not cap­tu­re the coun­ter­part, neither a pre­ven­ti­ve nor a repres­si­ve bene­fit can unfold. In addi­ti­on, the uncer­tain­ties and dan­gers in the use of the body cam can be illus­tra­ted in this way. When and how the body came­ra is swit­ched on in a poten­ti­al­ly cri­ti­cal situa­ti­on should alre­a­dy be well prac­ti­ced during the trai­ning so that nega­ti­ve expe­ri­en­ces in deal­ing with the body came­ra in rea­li­ty can be counteracted.

Con­clu­si­on: De-Escala­ti­on Trai­ning For Suc­cessful Body Cam Use

Know­ledge of the cor­rect method of use, appro­pria­te atti­tu­des towards the body cam, trai­ned judgment and con­fi­dent hand­ling only deve­lop their posi­ti­ve effect tog­e­ther and ensu­re the pre­ven­ti­on and de-escala­ti­on of (poten­ti­al­ly) cri­ti­cal situa­tions. The­r­e­fo­re, body cam trai­ning is stron­gly recom­men­ded pri­or to deploy­ment and pro­tects emer­gen­cy per­son­nel from assaults. The abo­ve-men­tio­ned trai­ning recom­men­da­ti­ons were deri­ved on the basis of evi­dence, and the trai­ning con­cept its­elf was tes­ted and opti­mi­zed with emer­gen­cy per­son­nel. Sin­ce 2020, LOGO Body Cam has also been offe­ring de-escala­ti­on trai­ning for per­son­nel out­side the field of public trans­port (e.g. air­port secu­ri­ty, public order offices).

About The Person

Udo Klut­tig holds a degree in psy­cho­lo­gy and has been working as a trai­ner, lec­tu­rer and sci­en­tist for 30 years. He is acti­ve throug­hout Ger­ma­ny in the are­as of vio­lence and de-escala­ti­on and, as mana­ging direc­tor of LOGO Bochum, sup­ports com­pa­nies in the crea­ti­on of evi­dence-based trai­ning con­cepts and in the trai­ning of employees. From 2018 to 2020, he eva­lua­ted the effect of body cams in public trans­port on behalf of the sta­te of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Cont­act: LOGO, Socie­ty for Trai­ning and Con­sul­ting, Allee­str. 119a, 44793 Bochum, 0234/332156, mail@logo-bochum.de 

Logo — Wel­co­me to LOGO Bochum (logo-bochum.de)

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