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Police Policy & Procedures Analysis


Thomas J. Aveni, MSFP

Thomas J. Aveni has been a career law enforcement officer, having served on the local and state levels in three states (NJ, UT, NH). His police career began in 1978, and he has served as a police trainer since 1983. From 1990 to 2001 Tom served as a police "Training Coordinator" with the once prestigious Smith & Wesson Academy. There he was instrumental in training over 12,000 police and military personnel from across the United States and 23 other countries.

    Since 1995, Mr. Aveni's police training focus became oriented toward replicating so-called “questionable” police shootings. These shootings routinely involve suspects who were unarmed and non-assaultive when shot by police. By approximating many of the variables in many such shootings he was able to develop a working thesis as to why questionable police shootings occur with such frequency. Previous studies have suggested that 25-43% of police shootings are of unarmed suspects. In this pursuit, Tom also examined the influence of police bias and contextual expectations on the inclination to use deadly force. Mr. Aveni’s research was later augmented and refined through the recruitment and involvement of forensic vision, psychological and medical experts. A roster of the other parties involved can be examined by visiting the Police Policy Studies Council's Staff URL.

Mr. Aveni achieved his undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice while minoring in psychology. At the graduate level Tom migrated toward Clinical Psychology when he recognized that human perception and cognition are salient issues in many cases involving questionable circumstances in the police use of deadly force. He received his Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from American International College, Springfield, MA.

View Thomas Aveni's CV




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