LAWE2241 Police Response and Human Behavior

This course is designed to integrate the academic and applied aspects of the basic patrol function for a police patrol officer. Included in this class is the in-depth examination of a patrol officer's duties, functions, and responsibilities, as well as a variety of other practical aspects. These include, but are not limited to, vehicle stops, traffic enforcement, domestics, officer stress, pedestrian contacts, officer safety issues, and other duties as they relate to the basic patrol function.




Admission into the Law Enforcement Program

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Refer to Course Syllabus for detailed information regarding the requirements and evaluation standards for this course. The Course Syllabus will be distributed the first week of the course.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes will be addressed in the course:
Describe the impact of human behavior on the interactions between police and communities they serve
Explain law enforcement response strategies to mental health issues, persons in crisis, and critical incident events
Describe the role of law enforcement as it relates, but not limited to, victimization, stalking, predatory offenders, domestic abuse, sexual assault, hate/biased motivated crimes
Explain the role of law enforcement when addressing issues of gangs, drugs, terrorism, and homeland security
Explain basic duties of a first responder to critical incidents involving the use of safety for themselves and others including backup, crime scene management, traffic and crowd control, and post critical incident debriefings
Identify knowledge of police radio techniques and procedures
Explain primary duties and functions of a police officer
Define identified legal terms regarding stop and frisk
Explain the use of police technology
Define command presence
Define different discretions used by a police officer
Describe how a police officer investigates domestic abuse and vulnerable adults

Minnesota POST Board Learning Objectives:
1.1.1 Describe how perception, sympathy, empathy, compassion and respect affect peace officer communication.
1.1.2 Discuss barriers to clear communication, e.g. language, stress, bias, lack of common cultural understanding.
1.1.3 Use and interpret verbal and non-verbal cues to enhance interpersonal communications.
1.2.1 Discuss the inter-relationship between core beliefs, integrity and ethical reasoning.
1.2.2 Identify ethical issues in a variety of law enforcement related situations and apply ethical reasoning to decision making processes.
1.2.3 Evaluate and apply strategies for responding to unethical or illegal actions that may arise within law enforcement and public safety.
1.2.4 Model behaviors that demonstrate commitment to ethical and professional behavior.
1.2.5 Discuss discretion and how it differs from selective enforcement.
1.2.6 Identify some of the causes and ramifications of public distrust of law enforcement and strategies to enhance the public trust.
1.2.7 Discuss ethical and responsible use of computers and databases by law enforcement.
1.3.1 Define and describe models of the conscious processes of critical thinking, logical reasoning and problem solving.
1.3.2 Use structured problem-solving methods to develop creative and innovative solutions to a variety of problems.
1.3.3 Applying reason and evidence to formulate logical inferences and draw logical conclusions.
1.3.4 Analyze and evaluate ideas, proposals, and solutions to problems using basic forms of logic and techniques designed to encourage sound reasoning.
1.3.5 Use critical thinking, logical reasoning and problem solving strategies to formulate ideas, make proposals and suggest solutions a variety of law enforcement related problems or concerns (Minn. Stat. 626.8455).
1.3.6 Apply critical thinking strategies during team discussions.
1.4.1 Describe decision-making processes and models.
1.4.2 Define the term discretion and discuss when and why peace officers use their best judgment in the administration of justice and when discretion is not allowed.
1.4.3 Discuss factors that influence police officer use of discretion.
1.4.4 Based on written scenarios involving law enforcement: describe decisions officers must make, suggest appropriate actions, and defend those decisions and actions.
1.5.1 Discuss how and why the police function is much broader than law enforcement and why reliance on criminal law enforcement to solve problems is not always the best course of action.
1.5.8 Explain how law enforcement management of status offenses and local ordinance violations can positively impact a community.
1.5.9 Describe and give examples of proactive policing versus responsive policing.
1.5.10 Describe problem oriented or problem targeting policing strategies.
1.6.3 Discuss how recognizing and valuing diversity, cultural differences and varied perspectives, promotes community unity, facilitates information gathering, and contributes to officer safety.
1.6.4 Discuss how recognizing and valuing diversity, cultural differences and varied perspectives, promotes community unity, facilitates information gathering and contributes to officer safety.
1.6.5 Discuss ways officers can promote positive relationships with community members of varying races, ethnicities, national origins, immigration statuses, genders, ages, economic classes, disabilities and/or sexual orientations. (Minn. Stat. 626.8455)
1.6.6 Discuss how family dynamics and communication methods, both verbal and non-verbal, vary between cultures and how recognition of these variances can benefit officers and communities.
1.6.7 Discuss culturally responsive approaches to dealing with victims and perpetrators of violence. (Minn. Stat. 626.8451., Subp. 1.a. (4))
1.6.8 Research and discuss the relationship between crime and being underprivileged.
1.6.9 Discuss the diverse groups that make-up Minnesota’s communities and some of the traits unique to communities that could impact law enforcement response.
1.7.1 Describe characteristics of professional behavior and the Minnesota Standards of Conduct for licensing Minnesota peace officers.
1.7.2 Describe the repercussions for a finding of a violation of the State’s peace officer standards of conduct.
1.7.4 Demonstrate behaviors associated with effectively working as part of a team to solve law enforcement related problems and issues.
1.7.6 Demonstrate skills which promote consensus building, show respect for the opinions of others, and encourage cooperation, adaptability, and conflict resolution.
1.8.1 Discuss the importance of a survival mindset for officers including: physical and psychological preparation for force encounters, risks associated with complacency, and wearing body armor and other safety equipment.
1.8.2 Identify the physiological, psychological and emotional effects of stress.
1.8.3 Explain some of the stressors encountered by peace officers and their effect on officers and their families including: duty related stressors, i.e. frequent encounters with illegal or unethical behaviors, emotionally charged scenes, people in distress, trauma and tragedy, stressors related to fatigue and shiftwork, and stress and long term effects associated with hypervigilance.
1.8.4 Discuss physical and psychological effects of stress before, during and after a high risk or traumatic incident including: the effects of high risk stress on the body including the brain, vision, hearing, muscles and respiratory system, and the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and how knowledge of the effects of stress in high risk or life threatening situations can help officers perform under stress.
1.8.5 Discuss critical incident debriefing and identify support services and resources for peace officers.
1.8.6 Discuss Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorders and their symptoms.
1.8.7 Describe officer survival/safety issues relative to a variety of peace officer duties, including traffic enforcement, arrest, vehicle stops, felony stops, pursuits, and plain clothes and undercover work.
1.8.8 Explain the importance of balancing peace officer roles and responsibilities and other life roles, interests and responsibilities.
1.8.9 Explain why physical fitness attributes including cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, agility, strength, speed, and endurance are important to peace officer health, well-being and competence.
2.2.7 State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest.
2.2.8 Explain how constitutional rights in the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments affect police interrogations.
2.2.20 List the five constitutional amendments involving equality and rights.
2.2.21 Explain the impact of the Fourteenth Amendment as it relates to due process and equal protection under the law including: the difference between the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments in terms of due process the differences between substantive and procedural due process, and how Fourteenth Amendment rights constrain law enforcement authority in interrogations.
2.2.23 Identify the criminal and civil consequences an officer may face by violating a citizen’s constitutional right.
2.3.1 Define the following terms: search warrant, arrest warrant, subpoena, order for protection (OFP), ex-parte order for protection, qualified domestic violence-related order (QDVRO), Harassment Restraining Order (HRO), no-contact orders, night-capped warrant, no-knock warrant, and curtilage.
2.4.1 Explain what constitutes an arrest and the differences between a contact, a detention and an arrest.
2.4.2 State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest.
2.4.3 Discuss protocols and terms associated with arrest including "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause".
2.4.4 Describe the stop and frisk standard as found in "Terry vs. Ohio" and subsequent cases.
2.4.5 Explain the legal requirements of, the exceptions to, and the need for an arrest warrant and how one is obtained.

2.5.7 Explain special Minnesota peace officer duties associated with specific statutes including: informing crime victims of their rights and assisting victims of violent crime including domestic assault, restraining orders and orders for protection, data collection on battered women cases, interviewing child abuse victims, officer responsibilities regarding missing children, and mandated reporter for child abuse and vulnerable adults.

2.7.1 Explain the history of and philosophy behind an independent juvenile justice system.

2.7.3 Explain the key elements of the juvenile justice system including: the levels of juvenile offenses, criminal conviction versus adjudicated delinquent, and adult versus juvenile offense charges, the juvenile court system and dispositions available to youthful offenders, and the impact of juvenile case law on peace officers including: In Re Gault, In Re Winship, McKiever vs. Pennsylvania, Fare vs. Michael C., and New Jersey vs. T.L.O.

2.7.4 Discuss the law enforcement officer’s responsibility for working as a team member with juvenile protective- services professionals.
2.7.5 Identify and discuss actions that are required when processing juveniles including: when photos may be taken, when they are required and when they must be forwarded to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, when juveniles can and cannot be used in a photo line- up, the services provided by the intake officer/counselor, the laws that apply to legally interviewing a juvenile, parental notification requirements, 
the setting and procedures for holding conferences with juveniles and their parents, the criteria needed for obtaining secure and non-secure custody orders, factor as to consider when making emergency placement of children, and legal detentions of juveniles. 

2.7.6 Discuss the problem of sexual exploitation of your including: the cycle of recruitment, the meaning of sex trafficking and its impact on sex trafficking victims, the makeup of users of sexually exploited youth, how sexually exploited youth are marketed resources for victims of sex trafficking and barriers to getting help, and the consequences of the sexual exploitation of youth and the significance of intervention of victims and society. 

2.15.2 Identify physical and behavioral indicators that aid officers in determining the likelihood of physical, psychological, emotional or sexual abuse, or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult has occurred.

2.15.3 Research the personal and situational characteristics of parents who abuse their children in order to gain insight into the individual and family dynamics that produce abusive behavior.
2.15.9 Discuss resources law enforcement may partner with to assess and investigate incidents of maltreatment or to provide services to child or vulnerable adult victims.
2.15.10 Compare and contrast familial, acquaintance and stranger types of child abductions.
2.15.11 Explain the term “Drug Endangered Children”, the immediate and future risks related to children living in drug related environments and the impact of rescuing drug endangered children may have on breaking the cycle of drug abuse and crime prevention.
2.17.6 Discuss myths about sexual violence and the impact they may have on reporting by victims and on how peace officers respond to incidents involving sexual violence.
2.19.1 Explain the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
2.19.2 Discuss the rights of people who have disabilities to the same service law enforcement provides to anyone else and stereotypes and biases some people may have toward people with disabilities.
2.19.3 Describe major areas of physical and mental disabilities requiring public section accommodations.
2.19.4 Identify special communications issues peace officers may encounter and discuss reasonable and appropriate actions officers may take to improve communication with individuals: coping with communication disorders including hearing impairment, whose mobility impairment restricts communication, and coping with autism spectrum disorders, dementia, Alzheimer's disease or intellectual disabilities.
2.19.5 Discuss methods for communicating with, assisting, or intervening in circumstances involving individuals who demonstrate indications of a variety of physical disabilities or mental impairments. (Minn. Stat. 626.8455)
2.19.6 Discuss emergency and non-emergency law enforcement situations involving people who have mobility disabilities, mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy or seizure disorders, speech disabilities, deafness or hard of hearing, and blindness or low vision and appropriate law enforcement response to those situations including making modifications or providing accommodations when appropriate.
2.20.1 Describe the major and severe forms of mental illness.
2.20.2 Describe the symptoms of major mental illnesses and how they manifest in adults and children, i.e., those associated with antisocial personality disorders, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder and manic behavior disorders, depression, dis-associative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, and Tourette’s syndrome.
2.20.3 Identify signs and characteristics that may be indicative of suicidal individuals.
2.20.4 Discuss signs and symptoms of excited delirium and its relationship to mental illness, drugs and sudden death.
2.20.5 Discuss bias that comes from the stigma of mental illness and the rights of individuals dealing with mental illness to the same fair treatment and police protection as anyone else.
2.20.6 Discuss the Minnesota Crisis Intervention Team (MNCIT) model.
2.20.7 Discuss how substance abuse can mimic or contribute to mental illness.
2.20.8 Explain how medications may influence behaviors of individuals dealing with mental illness and why people don’t always take their medications.
2.20.9 Discuss problems military veterans may have reintegrating into society, how these problems may involve law enforcement and special considerations for dealing with veteran in crisis.
2.21.1 Discuss the role of peace officers in managing and de-escalating hostile situations including how the attitude and expectations of an officer influences responses in crisis situations.
2.21.2 Describe anger/conflict management strategies useful to officers in resolving problems that arise in law enforcement settings.
2.21.3 Identify strategies and de-escalation techniques officers may use to manage conflict, reduce anger, and improve communication and cooperation and de-escalate volatile or hostile situations.
2.21.4 Distinguish between characteristics of passive, aggressive, and assertive behavior.
2.21.5 Discuss body language behaviors that signal potential conflict escalation.
2.21.6 Explain the principles of crisis intervention/negotiations.
2.21.8 Explain various communications techniques that may be effective in a crisis situation and how techniques may vary depending on whether the situation involves mental illness, substance induced behavior, or other causes.
2.22.1 Explain the Data Practices Act as it pertains to the gathering and release of information by law enforcement.
2.22.2 Discuss balancing the public’s right to know with public safety needs and privacy issues with regard to data accessed by peace officers including: - what and when information can be shared with the media or the public and by whom, and - the repercussions of violating data practices.
2.22.3 Discuss the need for protection of data related to on-going investigations, crime victims, and juveniles.
2.22.4 Discuss ethical and responsible use of computers and databases by peace officers and the ramifications of misuse or unethical release of data.
2.23.1. Identify and discuss crimes commonly described as cybercrime or internet crime.
2.24.1 Describe intelligence-led policing and how it differs from response and investigation-led policing and from community policing.
2.24.2 Explain how data driven, intelligence-led policing can influence the duties of peace officers even at the entry level.
2.25.1 Define terms terrorism (domestic and foreign), critical infrastructure, homeland security and militia movement.
2.25.2 Discuss the challenges in balancing national security concerns and civil rights including the impact of the USA Patriot Act.
2.25.3 Identify risks that may be associated with violent, anti-government extremist groups.
2.25.4 Discuss types of terrorism, weapons of terrorism, counterterrorism, basic interdiction strategies, terrorism target awareness and the role of law enforcement related to terrorism.
2.26.1 Explain what a criminal gang is as it is defined in Minnesota Statute 609.229 and the penalties for crimes committed for the benefit of a gang.
2.26.2 Discuss the appeal of gang membership, how gangs recruit members, and prevention and intervention methods.
2.26.3 Explain the terms organized crime and racketeering and discuss how organized crime affects Minnesota law enforcement.
2.26.4 Recognize the term RICO Act as meaning the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and be able to describe the overall intent of the Act.
2.26.5 Define the term vice crime and describe the attributes of various vice crimes including illegal gambling, prostitution, solicitation and pornography.
2.26.6 Discuss officer safety concerns and ethical decision-making matters related to vice crime investigations including risks associated with working undercover and ethics related to working with confidential informants.
3.2.1 Discuss interview techniques used to: build rapport, encourage full meaningful answers and discourage suggestibility, clarify and corroborate statements, enhance memory, detect deception, and obtain information from a reluctant witness.
3.2.2 Discuss interview considerations and techniques for interviewing children, vulnerable adults and traumatized victims.
3.3.1 Describe the relationship between good report writing and testimony.
3.4.1 Discuss how conflict management strategies depend on the situation and various strategies that may be useful in resolving situations involving individuals dealing with mental illness, substance use, or developmental disabilities such as autism.
3.4.2 Model reasonable and effective conflict management strategies and skills intended to de-escalate volatile situations including:
3.4.3 Model reasonable and effective dispute mediation strategies and techniques.
3.5.2 Identify various types of evidence, i.e., blood and biological, weapons, explosives and arson related evidence, hair and fiber, impressions, fingerprints, documents, clothing.
3.12.13 Identify and discuss officer survival/safety issues related to stopping and approaching vehicles.
3.12.14 Review scenarios of peace officer traffic stops and identify: what circumstances impact officer conduct including best practices and high risk mistakes, and reasonable use of discretion in deciding what enforcement action to take or not take.
3.12.15 Discuss how secondary offenses may be discovered during traffic enforcement and the importance of being observant for contraband and suspicious behavior during traffic stops.
3.14.11 Explain officer duties in death notification/body identification situations.
3.14.18 Discuss risks associated with domestic violence situations and safe approach techniques including: why it is best not to respond alone, the importance of gathering as much information as possible prior to response, the importance of initial scene assessment, and why it is important not to reveal the name of the person who requested police response.
3.14.19 Explain when an arrest is warranted, when an arrest is mandatory and the time period in which an arrest can be made in domestic violence related situations.
3.14.29 Describe the terms Driving While Impaired (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
3.14.40 Explain the basic principles of hazardous materials as defined by Occupational Safety a and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Emergency Response Guide Book published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
3.14.41 Identify some resources for responding to hazardous materials incidents, i.e., fire department, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA’s) Emergency Communications Center for State level assistance and notification.
3.14.42 Explain the purpose of hazardous materials placards and the significance of their shapes, color, symbols and texts.
3.14.43 Identify some common hazardous materials placards and where they are commonly located.
3.14.44 Given scenarios involving hazardous materials describe and/or demonstrate basic incident management skills including: recognizing and identifying common hazardous materials or hazardous materials placards, and taking situationally appropriate safety precautions and reasonable actions including maintaining a safe distance, clearing the area and making referrals and notifications.
3.14.55 Discuss what an officer should know, behaviors an officer should demonstrate, and communication tactics officers may find useful when interacting with a person struggling with a mental illness to maximize safety and more effectively approach a crisis situation including: why it is important to gather as much information as possible before arriving at a situation involving a mental health crisis, why it is important to respond in pairs and when to involve a mental health crisis response team if possible, why, unless the situation is immediately dangerous/critical, officers should not challenge or violate personal space and try to eliminate noise and distractions, the advantage of having one officer take lead in communicating, and the importance of having patience, building rapport and demonstrating compassion.
3.14.56 Given situations involving individuals demonstrating signs and/or characteristics of mental illness, behavioral disorder or suicidal intentions requiring intervention, demonstrate appropriate intervention techniques that are likely to be beneficial in managing the situations (Minn. Stat. 626.8455) including: modeling behavior that shows the importance of putting safety first, staying alert and the danger of complacency or taking anything for granted when dealing with an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, unless situation appears immediately dangerous/critical, avoiding challenging or violating personal space, trying to eliminate noise and distractions, having one officer take lead and open communication from a safe distance, using communication techniques designed to de-escalate volatile situations including: being patient, calm, honest and compassionate, using active listening skills while not encouraging or agreeing with delusions, using a calming voice, and avoiding challengin

Text and References

A list of textbooks required for this course is available at the bookstore.

Course Scheduling

The scheduled hours of instruction include sixteen hours for each lecture credit, thirty-two hours for each lab credit, and forty hours for each credit of supervised occupational experience (SOE).  Lecture credit may include formal or impromptu lectures, demonstrations, or discussions with the entire class or with small groups or individuals.  Refer to the Course Credits section of this course outline for the credit breakdown.

Accommodations Statement

Disability Services assists students with disabilities who need accommodations to access programs, services and college activities.  If this applies to you, please contact the DS Office on your campus to initiate the accommodations process. 
Brooklyn Park Campus - 763-488-2477
Eden Prairie Campus – 952-995-1544


Brooklyn Park Campus 952-995-1300

Credit Details