APABA to hold talk on behavior analysis, police training


Courtesy of NMU event calendar

Akasha Khalsa

The Upper Peninsula Association of Behavior Analysis will hold its February webinar, Behavioral Science and Police, on Friday, Feb. 19. The webinar will feature John O’Neill, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA. It will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

Attendees will gain knowledge on how behavioral analysis connects to police training methods. Among the goals of the webinar are, “attendees will learn how behavioral science has been applied in police academy training,” and “attendees will learn of other areas in which behavioral science can be readily applied to benefit police practices,” according to the NMU event calendar.

Attendance is free, but those interested must register to receive a Zoom link. UPABA holds similar events each month as part of a series that began in November 2020 and will conclude in August 2021. UPABA operates in partnership with NMU, as well as the Superior Health Foundation.

Given recent public forum conversations that center around police training, and the organization of police forces, this discussion may be an opportunity to learn more.

“Behavior analysts and police share many similar challenges in the areas of skill acquisition, maintenance and generalization, treatment integrity, decision-making, problem-solving, employment screening, attrition (i.e., burn-out), organizational leadership and culture,” O’Neill writes in his abstract. “I will also address common misconceptions about police training and identify some of the limitations of behavior analytic methods and procedures in the context of police academy training. Behavior analysis has a lot to offer law enforcement but we must adapt our approach in order to facilitate effective communication.”