The Value of Training

Think about anything dangerous that you’ve done on a regular basis in your life. It’s in this context that I want to talk about the value of training.

Think back to the beginning of your law enforcement career. You entered the academy with a limited set of skills and knowledge. You were handed your service weapon. What happened next? Did you receive your weapon on the last day of the academy? Were you handed your weapon and told, “go serve and protect?” Of course not. You received training on how to safely handle the weapon. You received training on how to safely maintain the weapon. You didn’t receive a single round of ammunition for that weapon until your instructor was comfortable with you and your proficiency with the basics. Then you drilled. You practiced. You went through scenarios. You qualified … and throughout your career, you re-qualified over and over again. Failing to qualify has serious consequences to your career.

Now, I know that you’re probably thinking, a weapon is dangerous. I was told, and you probably received similar advice, “never point the muzzle of a weapon at anything that you aren’t willing to destroy and pay the price for.”  What’s so dangerous about working with images and video?

Ever heard of the CSI Effect? Multimedia is so powerful; people believe what they see. Multimedia evidence is so compelling that it has the power to free the innocent and convict the guilty. But, handled incorrectly, it also has the ability to free the guilty and convict the innocent. A wrongful conviction is not only very costly to your agency; it ruins lives. Wrongfully freeing the guilty has the potential for continuing the criminal’s chaotic career. No one wants that.

Amped FIVE is a very powerful and flexible tool. It doesn’t look and perform like any other software on the market. With almost 100 different filters, which can be used in multiple combinations to solve a wide variety of problems, it’s rare to find a person who is new to image processing and analysis who will “get” the program out of the box. This is the value of training.

Training helps you to know what to do when, in what order, and why the way you do what you do is important. You know what you want to do. You know the questions you are trying to answer; license plates, faces, descriptions, speed, height, distance, etc. But what filters do you use and how do you use them? This is the value of training.

I am a firm believer in the what-how-why model of instruction. I know what I want to do (apprentice), I know how to do it effectively and efficiently (journeyman – technician level), and I know why it works and why it’s the appropriate way to do it (master – expert level). I also like the see one – do one – teach one model from medical schools. Training with Amped Software mixes the two approaches and makes it relevant to real-world examples from actual casework. Training this way helps build the muscle memory necessary to build speed with the software. Training this way helps build the comfort necessary to testify about your work, beyond the reading of the report (technician level). Training this way helps you achieve the proficiency necessary to do this very serious work; work that could potentially involve removing someone’s liberty, significantly changing someone’s life, or worse in death penalty cases.

To this end, we’re offering more training opportunities than ever before. We’ve opened up a brand new training center in Henderson, Nevada. We’re also offering training at agency locations around the world. In the next few months, we have classes in Henderson and Fairfax, VA. Through the CUC project in Texas, we’ll have classes in Ft. Worth and Austin. We’re at LEVA each year. We have classes in the UK, the Netherlands, and (of course) Italy. We’re doing everything we can to assist you in your training needs.

Won’t you join us at a training session soon? Click on this link to access our training page and sign up for the next class,