Recognition Primed Decision-making (part III)

The Victim Mix

Elements of The Victim Mix

  • Lack of Awareness
  • Lack of Preparation
  • Failure to React

In 2007, the FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin described a series of inputs to what the authors called “The Deadly Mix.” While this article and concept pertains principally to law enforcement officers, it also provides a model for how we can think about enhancing our own safety.

Altering just one element of the deadly mix can provide a multitude of changing circumstances and outcomes with which to challenge each officer.

The Deadly Mix

Our end goal for the Recognition Primed Decision-making process in the context of Personal Protection is to avoid becoming victims. RPD allows us to set ourselves up for SUCCESS instead of FAILURE.

Awareness = Recognition

Preparation = Primed

Decision-making = Action

A key part of that process is to understand our internal processes that lead to failure. The Victim Mix uses the concept of ‘tolerance stackup.’ In that way, it is akin to the Four Rules of Gun Safety. Violating one Rule or Element will rarely lead to problems. Breaking two or more can, and often does, result in failure.

On the other hand, a person who is Aware, Prepared, and Ready to React is very difficult to victimize. The article illustrates its point by summarizing two actual incidents. Part of the analysis of the incidents described the impact of perceptions and assumptions in the encounters.

In the two incidents presented, it was the offender’s perception of both officers’ behaviors and the assumptions that he made that significantly altered his actions and resulted in the attack on the one officer and not on the other.

The Deadly Mix

Understanding the inputs to The Victim Mix allows us to reduce our vulnerabilities. Reducing our vulnerabilities allows us to Avoid and Escape undesirable situation before it becomes necessary to Confront and Resist predators. That is key to setting ourselves up for SUCCESS.

A fight avoided is better than a fight won.

John Farnam

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

2 responses

  1. Based on Farnham’s comment, there’s some recent footage of two Detroit PD cops leaving the scene of a drive by post haste and not reporting it, only to be found out later in a car cam audit. They also apparently went back after the shooters had left to render aid to the shootee.

    I realize cops and citizens have much varied responsibilities when it comes to seeing and reacting to gunfire, but many of the responses I read (admittedly a small sample) on Glock Talk’s Coptalk page runs to ‘why not leave, there’s no benefit to you to getting in a gunfight’ in the current political climate.

    Any thoughts?

    1. In general, doing the exact opposite of anything said on GlockTalk is probably the most correct thing to do. 🙂

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