Developing a Rapid Situation Awareness in Complex, Crowd Control Environments: The First Step in a Training Program for Warfighter Readiness

Award Information
Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
1750 Commerce Center Blvd. N., Fairborn, OH, 45324
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Karol Ross
Senior Research Associate
(763) 561-0210
Business Contact:
Barbara Law
Contracting Officer
(937) 873-8166
Research Institution:
Assessing crowd dynamics is a nearly impossible task. The myriad of available data makes it difficult to determine how and when a crowd of people will act and/or react. What is needed is a taxonomy of how experts in the field of crowd dynamics assessmentdo what they do best. How do these individuals know a crowd is nearing its boiling point? What actions can enforcement agencies take that will help mitigate these events? Around the globe, U.S. soldiers are placed into situations where their assessmentskills are being put to the test and their reactions to changing events often determine whether a crowd turns violent. This effort would be the first step in a training program for those U.S. soldiers who are faced with these difficult decisions. In thePhase I, we will conduct a Cognitive Task Analysis of experts to determine how they develop their assessment of a crowd. What do they attend to that allows them to make predictions about a crowd's future actions? This study will lay the groundwork for thedevelopment of a training program to train tactics and procedures for individuals when faced with difficult decisions regarding crowds and crowd control. Following the successful completion of the Phase II, the training program will have immediateapplication within other areas of the DOD. Any tool that would benefit the Air Force in these situations will be of benefit to the Marines and Army as well. Yet, the impact of this training program will go far beyond military applications. Local, state,and federal law enforcement agencies are in dire need of such a program. These agencies are being asked to respond to an ever-growing number of crowd events and crowd control situations. This training program will provide the training support that isneeded. First, this program will be based on sound research. The identification of how experts in the field size up a crowd to determine how they will act and/or react will provide this solid foundation. The resulting training program will providespecific guidance regarding how to assess crowds and how actions of law enforcement officials can help to successfully mitigate these events.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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