Detroit Police Training Seminar with “Killology” Speaker Canceled

The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police has canceled an upcoming training session in metro Detroit of local police chiefs featuring a controversial speaker.

The session, meant to address PTSD issues that some officers may face after killing someone, was scheduled for late May at Oak Pointe Church in Novi. The director of the association said they decided to cancel the event after their group and the church were subject to public outcry.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman often talks about how law enforcement can reduce their inhibitions to kill if needed in the line of duty. 

Grossman’s website says he is the director of the Killology Research Group.

“Since his retirement from the US Army in 1998, he has been on the road almost 300 days a year, for over 19 years, as one of our nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organizations,” his bio reads. “He has five patents to his name, has published four novels, two childrens’ books, and six non-fiction books …”

Some of those books address how American soldiers learned to overcome reluctance to kill, and how police should treat neighborhoods like battlegrounds — and to always be ready to kill.  Critics say his views encourage a militarization of local policing that can lead to more fatal police shootings. 

A video of one of his sessions went viral.

Robert Stevenson, executive director of the police chiefs association, hopes critics can find out what Grossman is really teaching —  how to cope with fatal police shootings. Stevenson mentions a former area police officer who took his own life after a fatal shooting.

“What we were having him come in to talk about and inform the chiefs about, specifically, was the PTSD and the psychological and physical aspect of what happens if you’re ever involved in an incident” where a person is killed, Stevenson said. 

Stevenson said that clip of Grossman talking about sex after killing someone is “incomplete or it’s edited to state a small portion of the presentation,” but admitted that he hadn’t seen the video, and had only heard about it. “Some people can’t eat, some people binge eat, some people can’t sleep. …And he said at the end of it … sometimes it affects their sex life. One person even said they had the best sex ever. So he’s trying to emphasize the adrenaline of what happens when somebody is” involved in a fatal shooting. 

Oak Pointe Church stated that they were troubled by Grossman’s previous remarks.

“The main source of our concern is the teaching of David Grossman, director of the Killology Research Group,” the church said. “He has become a controversial figure due to his teaching around the topic of killing. In one of his online seminars he states ‘Any natural or learned resistance to killing, any sense of the sanctity of human life, any human emotions, any remorse or compassion at the moment of truth can all be overcome and overwhelmed with training’ (Unit 2, from ‘On Combat’). Because of this statement and other elements of Lt. Col. Grossman’s teachings, we cannot welcome him as a speaker at Oak Pointe Church.”

See details at Detroit Free Press