Seminar Overview


The Deadly Misconceptions® seminar methodically examines the phenomena of "questionable" police shootings. Questionable shootings, by our definition, are those which entail officers shooting unarmed and non-assaultive suspects. Contrary to common belief, as many as 43% of all police shootings may in fact fall within the parameters of this definition. Errors in critical decision-making are often attributable to judgment based upon situational and behavioral cues, as well as perception impaired by low light conditions.

This endeavor picks up where others have left off. In this one-day presentation, a nationally recognized authority on lethal force issues will address complex, troubling issues in a comprehensive manner. In addition, you get to interact with the presenter in way that other seminars generally don’t allow.


Issues Addressed:

  • How and why officers are finding themselves accused of a “bad shooting”? Training and policy implications are then addressed.

  • The troubling aspects of decision-making in reduced light, conditions under which most police shootings occur. This presentation explains why officers are often severely disadvantaged, and how they might better cope with darkness.

  • The overlooked difference between a “Must-Shoot” scenario and a “May-Shoot” scenario.

  • The legal and tactical differences between an immediate threat and an imminent threat.

      Surviving the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting: you’ve survived the confrontation, now you’ll get an expert’s insight as to how to survive the investigation and media scrutiny that follows


      Many officer-involved shootings have been politicized, often to the detriment of the officers expecting fairness and due process when their shooting is being reviewed. Why does this occur? How much critical, exculpatory information has been over-looked in officer-involved shootings?


Topical Overview:

  • Is it true that as many as 25-43% of all police shootings involve suspects who are “unarmed and not-assaultive”?

  • When do situational and behavioral cues contribute to an objectively reasonable “furtive movement” shooting?

  • Are police shootings typically influenced by racism, or is there a more
    rational and innocuous explanation?

  • Is it true that police miss with roughly 80% of the shots they fire, or have such measures of street hit-proficiency been terribly skewed?

  • Has the widespread use of “night-sights” failed to yield any benefit in low light shootings?

  • What overlooked shooting incident variable seems to diminish officer hit ratios by as much as 82%?

  • What overlooked incident variable seems to increase the number of shots fired by officers by as much as 45%?

  • How does the "Two-Second Rule" apply to the police use of deadly force when faced with a vehicular assault?

  • Has contemporary police training better prepared officers for deadly force scenarios, or has it contributed to the most egregious problems?

  • Do officers who have been involved in a deadly force scenario get a fair and thorough investigation, or are serious considerations being overlooked?

Who Should Attend This Seminar:

  • This seminar is a must for all sworn officers, and should certainly be considered a must for police trainers.

  • Investigators who are tasked with the investigation of officer-involved shootings will find this seminar extremely enlightening, if not essential.

  • Policy makers and police administrators will also benefit greatly from this series of presentations. Numerous policy and procedural issues are explored.

  • Prosecuting attorneys, and those tasked with defending officers accused of using inappropriate or excessive levels of force.

  • City, county and state administrators tasked with managing vicarious liability and/or public relations.

       While the prevailing content of this seminar is certain to generate controversy, it is essential that police trainers and administrators confront these issues head-on, armed with the facts to overcome them with.


Course Instructor: Thomas J. Aveni, MSFP

Mr. Aveni began service as a police officer in 1978, and has been a police training specialist since 1983. Most recently, he served as a police training coordinator with Smith & Wesson Academy from 1990-2001. He currently serves as a staff researcher and forensic consultant with the Police Policy Studies Council.

      Tom Aveni has AAS/BS degrees in Criminal Justice, and an MS in Forensic Psychology. He has authored numerous articles that have been published in police periodicals, and is co-authoring the book, “Surviving the Nightshift.”


Please Note: All applications, tuition or POs must be received prior to the beginning of class. Tuition includes a comprehensive classroom manual and all classroom and range materials.

Eligible candidates for this program are members of the police, corrections, military and security communities. ALL applicants MUST provide credentials of their affiliation with an accredited law enforcement, corrections, military or security organization for acceptance into this program.



 1 days/ 8 hours




(See Course Hosting)


  Please call 877-267-7772  ext. 3



copyright 2004 The Police Policy Studies Council. All rights reserved. a Steve Casey design.