Educational psychologists call it Elaborative Encoding. The research into it is long, boring, nerdy, but potentially life-saving if cops knew how to apply it to something they need. If you want to learn something new and be able to recall it long term when you need it the most, you must link, associate, or connect it to something you already know. Elaborative Encoding serves as mental glue. As a child you started learning the ABCs when you were about two years old. Subsequently, the letters A, B, and C have been buried into your collective memory for two, three, four or five decades, in most cases. Using the information gleaned from the Dorn publication, and glued to the first three letters of the alphabet will help you better retain how a gunman acts or moves when you need to recognize it under stress. Here is how it works:
A - Stands for Action; this consists of Dorn's #2, 4 and 7 gunman signs.
B - Means Behaviors; Dorn's gunman characteristic #1, or anything else relating to it like looking to see repeatedly if a weapon in their waste band. Other suspicious mannerisms count as well.
C - Denotes Clothing the suspect is wearing; Dorn's #3, 5 and 6.
Applying the seven characteristics of a gunman to the first three letters of the alphabet allows for the rapid recall, and affording a life safety reaction quickly.
Don't Forget Terry
Another advantage of perpetuating skill through application of the ABCs is the police frisk. In the historical, landmark, U.S. Supreme Court case of Terry v. Ohio the court specified that reasonable suspicion must be based on specific and articulable facts. Seizing the suspect's gun for your safety is one thing, and arguably most paramount, but following through to successful prosecution is the hallmark of a good street cop. Write the report in the format of your logical observations detailing the suspects Actions, Behaviors and Clothing and you not only increase the chances of convicting the offender, but live to tell about it.