Course Catalog



Surviving Verbal Conflict®: Verbal De-escalation


  • Harry P. Dolan
    Chief of Police, Raleigh Police Department, NC (Ret.)
  • Jose L. Lopez Sr.
    Chief, Durham Police Department, NC (Ret.)
  • Bill Bongle
    Captain, Green Bay Police Department, WI (Ret.)
  • Paul W. Luster
    Capt., Kansas City Police Department, MO
  • Chuck L. Wilson
    Captain, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, NC
  • Daniel Nieters
    Sergeant, Raleigh Police Department, NC
  • Eric Sweden
    Lieutenant, Raleigh Police Department, NC
  • Scott Grainer
    Detective, Internal Affairs Bureau, New York Police Department, NY (Ret.)

Today’s increased service demands and the scrutiny placed upon public safety professionals have resulted in a growing need to master verbal conflict management skills. When negative verbal encounters escalate to the point where physical intervention is used, criticism often results when it is later discovered that there is little evidence of verbal de-escalation techniques employed by officers. This is particularly true when incident video and audio reviews are utilized. In some cases, it has become clear that the verbal actions of the public safety responders served to escalate the situation. Administrators are now asking, “Is this an area in which the training tape has run out? Have we adequately trained our personnel to successfully manage and respond to verbal confrontations in a professional manner?"

Making Discipline Stick in the Fire Service


  • Matt Dolan
    Attorney & Director, Dolan Consulting Group, NC

The vast majority of citizen complaints and internal acts of employee misconduct encountered by government agencies are generated by a small number of problem individuals. It is crucial, therefore, that government agencies can successfully discipline these few “bad apples”.

In other cases, disciplinary action is necessary to hold essentially good employees accountable for misconduct that threatens agency operations. In these cases, making discipline stick is actually in the interest of the employee, as it can serve as a much needed “wake up call” to an employee before performance issues become so serious that termination is required or public safety is threatened.

Unfortunately, research has revealed that when disciplinary actions are reviewed by an outside source (i.e., grievance arbitrator or civil service board), the employer’s discipline is overturned or reduced about half of the time.

Policing Domestic Violence: Evidence-Based Practices


  • Dr. Richard Johnson
    Chief Academic Officer

This course introduces law enforcement personnel to effective, evidence-based strategies for policing domestic violence in a way that improves officer safety, increases victim safety, and seeks offender accountability regarding crimes of intimate partner violence. Using empirical research findings as a foundation, this course will expose officers to four types of intimate partner violence batterers. The course will reveal how each batterer type developed differently responds differently to criminal justice interventions. It will discuss what evidence-based actions officers can take to increase the likelihood the victim will cooperate with the prosecution process and leave the relationship for good. It will reveal the factors that increase the likelihood an officer will be assaulted at the scene, and the factors correlated with officer survival of assaults at these calls. It will address how to use information and physical evidence to help determine which party was the primary aggressor. Finally, it will discuss how to present documentation of the incident in a manner that best increases the chances for prosecution and conviction. This course is appropriate for any law enforcement personnel, including probation officers and prosecutors, who deal with cases of intimate partner violence.

Police Misconduct: Early Warning and Early Intervention


  • Matt Dolan
    Attorney & Director, Dolan Consulting Group, NC
  • Brian Nanavaty
    Captain, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, IN
  • Brian McEwen
    Sergeant, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, IN

In law enforcement agencies across the country, there is a natural tendency not to address the signs of police misconduct and personal distress until they reach a critical point—meaning that the professional and personal unraveling of officers is on display for the media, public trust is negatively affected and severe officer discipline, termination or other self-destructive officer outcomes are inevitable.  It is vital that agencies break this pattern and embrace pro-active hiring initiatives and early intervention as a method of minimizing the damage ultimately done to officer safety, public safety and officers’ livelihoods when cumulative issues—left untreated—rise to the level of crisis.

Substance Abuse and Impairment in the Workplace


  • Eric Sweden
    Lieutenant, Raleigh Police Department, NC

Over 15% of the United States workforce has self-reported being under the influence of alcohol in the workplace at least once in the last year, according to according to the National Institutes of Health. Add prescription drugs, illegal drugs and other impairing substances to the mix—particularly in light of nationwide legalization and decriminalization of certain drugs—and it seems only reasonable to suspect that this trend will rise.

Homicide Investigation: Seeking Justice and Finding Truth


  • Linda R. Netzel
    Kansas City Police Crime Laboratory
  • Daniel E. Sosnowski
    SOS Services, Inc., GA
  • Lisa Mayhew, MS
    North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Everett C. Babcock
    Sgt., Kansas City Police Department, MO

This is a comprehensive course on how to investigate homicides and other suspicious deaths. Through the use of classroom lectures, video segments, photographs, case study exercises, and hands-on practical exercises, attendees will be provided with a thorough education in the specific techniques involved in these types of investigations. Taught by instructors with extensive backgrounds in death investigations, this course will cover such topics as initial response and securing the scene, crime scene search methods, obtaining search warrants, identifying and preserving forensic evidence, witness interviews, suspect interrogations, report writing, and testifying. The course will also discuss suicides, death investigations involving children, and the capabilities of forensic evidence analysis. Throughout this course an emphasis is placed on protecting constitutional rights, seeking the truth, avoiding false confessions, and respecting the victim’s family. This course is intentionally designed for law enforcement officers from all sizes of agencies that might be tasked with a death investigation.

Developing Organizational Performance Leadership