Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 327–331 | Cite as

Shoot/No-Shoot Decisions in the Context of IED-Detection Training and Eyewitness Memory for Persons

  • Matthew J. Sharps
  • Megan R. Herrera
  • David L. Hulett
  • Amanda Briley


Cognitive approaches to training for the detection of improvised explosive devices (IED’s) are of increasing importance. However, there is a question as to the degree to which such training might interfere with other important law enforcement (LE) functions in the field, and the degree to which such training might enhance other important cognitive/perceptual functions. A promising cognitive approach to IED training, the SMOKE system, was provided to respondents, who then responded to shoot/no-shoot decisions, important LE situations of increasing relevance. It was shown that SMOKE training did not interfere with shoot/no-shoot decisions. However, those with SMOKE training performed better than control respondents on eyewitness memory for the perpetrator of a given crime in field-valid scenes. This indicates that cognitively based training may enhance vigilance and resultant memory in field situations.


Bomb detection training Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) Cognitive training Shoot/no-shoot decisions Officer-involved shootings Eyewitness memory 



Portions of this research were funded by a portion of a $5000 Summer Salary granted to the first author by the College of Science and Mathematics, California State University, Fresno.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This project received full ethical approval from the Human Subjects Committee, Department of Psychology, College of Science and Mathematics, California State University, Fresno. The project was approved as a “minimal risk” procedure for human subjects.

Informed Consent

All human subjects of this research were provided with full informed consent according to the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association, standard for this field. All were adults, and all indicated that they had fully read the Informed Consent form and the research descriptions contained therein, and signed the form to give their consent to participate in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State UniversityFresnoUSA

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