The National Police Foundation has developed a voluntary and anonymous reporting system (www.LEOnearmiss.org) that enables law enforcement personnel to read about and anonymously share stories of close calls or “near misses,” which provide lessons learned that can protect other officers in similar situations. A near miss is defined as an incident that almost resulted in an officer being seriously injured or killed. Our mission is to encourage law enforcement personnel to share their near miss experiences so the lessons learned from them can be incorporated systematically into training, policy, and equipment decisions to prevent injuries and fatalities.
“A near miss, like any error, provides us with an opportunity to examine how mistakes are made and what changes might prevent them” – Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, NYU (NYT, May 28, 2013)
A near miss is defined as a close call and/or unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in an officer injury or fatality if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. Near misses oftentimes include contributing factors like hazardous conditions, subjects with concealed weapons, failed equipment, or lapses in situational awareness. Regardless of the situation, they provide lessons learned, and reporting a near miss allows fellow officers to learn from these incidents so they can go home to their loved ones after every shift.
Simply put, there are significantly more near misses than serious injuries or fatalities. It is evident in industries that collect near-miss data (aviation, fire/EMS services, health care/medicine, mining, nuclear power operations, and the military) that for every major incident, injury, or fatality, there are hundreds of near misses that could be analyzed and used in training and risk management to prevent a tragedy.
LEO Near Miss is strictly for promoting learning and enhancing officer safety and wellness. Users can visit the site, read the lessons learned from near misses experienced by other officers, and anonymously share their own near-miss experiences. Near-miss reports submitted to the site undergo a two-stage review process by law enforcement experts to remove all identifying information (ensuring anonymity when published) and to highlight important takeaways for improving officer safety. It takes less than 10 minutes to submit a report, and you can do it right from your in-car computer or through our free smartphone app (available on Android and iOS devices). The Police Foundation does not require, keep, or share any personally identifiable information about who reported an incident (including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, etc.) and does not require an officer to obtain any prior authorization to submit a report. Any personally identifiable information in the report is deleted before publishing so that the report is never tied to a specific agency, officer, location or incident in any identifiable way.
In addition to providing lessons learned, the LEO Near Miss system will identify and report on the underlying risk factors and characteristics that are contributing to near-miss incidents. This anonymized information will be made available to the law enforcement community to improve training, equipment, policies, procedures, and tactics in order to reduce risk, improve officer safety, and save lives.
Please consider sharing your near-miss experiences. The short time you take to share your story could save the life of a fellow officer.
For agencies interested in incorporating lessons learned from near misses into training and policy development, please visit our Become a Participating Agency page.
For more information, click on the flyer above, visit our LEO Near Miss About page, or contact our staff listed below.
This project is supported by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The LEO Near Miss project is jointly sponsored and endorsed by the following organizations:
Senior Project Associate
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