As our nation continues to remember and honor the sacrifices of fallen officers following National Police Week, it is critical that we remain focused on reducing and preventing these tragedies. In this month’s Officer Safety and Wellness issue of the IACP’s Police Chief magazine, Chief Frank Straub (Ret.) and Commissioner Robert Haas explain how law enforcement agencies and officers can take tangible steps towards this goal. Entitled “Learning from Near Misses: The Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Near Miss System”, the article calls upon and encourages law enforcement leaders to do more by reporting and learning from near misses that occur within their agencies.
Utilized extensively in other fields such as aviation, medicine, and fire & rescue, the systematic reporting, collection, and analysis of “near miss” incidents is fundamental to reducing risk, improving safety, and saving lives. For every tragedy, there are literally dozens of “near misses”—incidents that could have resulted in significant injury or death if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. As law enforcement agencies and organizations, such as Below 100, continue to strive towards reducing the number of line of duty deaths, it is critical that agencies look, not only to these tragedies, but also to near misses for lessons learned that can be applied to future operations in order to improve safety.
LEO Near Miss, developed by the Police Foundation with funding support from the COPS Office, provides law enforcement agencies and officers with the ability to view and report near miss incidents in one online, anonymous, and voluntary system. For more information on the system and the benefits it offers to law enforcement, please see this month’s article in The Police Chief magazine and be sure to visit the LEO Near Miss website at www.LEOnearmiss.org.