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De Escalation Tactics For Police

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Principles of Realistic De-Escalation has been certified for eight hours of Continued Law Enforcement Education credits through the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training for their National Certification Program review for POST accreditation.

IADLEST NCP accreditation is currently accepted in 35 states. The presence of NCP endorsement on a course demonstrates that the materials have been approved by an approval body specifically aiming to raise the quality standards of ongoing law enforcement officer training throughout the country. Therefore, departmental leaders can be confident in arranging such classes for their officers.

More Police Departments Are Training Officers In De

Early in September just before dawn, police officers in Camden, New Jersey, cautiously moved in on a rape suspect they were following. The man, armed with a knife, parked his SUV in an alley, got out and slowly walked toward the officers.

Drop the knife! Stop moving! an officer yelled. Stop moving!

Still gripping the knife, the man kept walking toward the officers, who stepped back to maintain a safe distance.

Were trying to help you, man, another officer said.

Ill stab you, the suspect replied.

The officers, some with their guns drawn, others ready with Tasers, waited for his next move. Camden County police are trained to hold back deadly force when possibleto first try to de-escalate situations like this.

De-escalation training is becoming more common in police departments across the country as public pressure mounts to reduce the number of people killed by law enforcement officers. Last year, police killed 1,127 people, according to the research group Mapping Police Violence.

In most of those cases, officers initially responded to nonviolent offenses or situations in which no crime was reported.

Of those killed by police last year, 180 had a knife or sharp object, and 80 were unarmed about half had a gun. Of those unarmed, 45 were people of color.

Could police have avoided killingwhether the victims were armed or not?

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When the dispatch came out, all Officer Thaddeus Hines knew was that there was a person having a mental crisis and possibly armed with a knife, two elements that will make any cops heart race.

Hines, 24, walked up to the ramshackle boardinghouse and gently knocked. The Burlington, N.C., police officer was directed to a back bedroom, where he stopped at an open doorway to see a woman sitting cross-legged on a bare mattress, shrieking at him to leave. A 13-inch knife sat inches from her right hand.

I have been on cocaine and Im suicidal, the woman yelled. Im feeling no pain. Im at the point where I dont know what to do anymore.

Will you let me help you? Hines asked without raising his voice.

The womans volume dropped. She asked why he would want to help.

I want to help you because I think everybodys life is valuable, Hines said.

Five minutes after Hines arrived, the woman tossed her knife to the floor. Hines took her for mental health treatment. No one was arrested or hurt.

For many years, in these situations, police have been trained to meet force with more force, drawing their weapon and ordering the subject to drop that knife.

Now, in training academies around the country, officers are watching the video of Hines and others performing de-escalation. The training teaches police to create space, slow things down, ask open-ended questions and hold off reaching for their guns to avoid ramping up confrontation.

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The Difference From Traditional Training

A2017 APM report found that only 21 states have mandated de-escalationtraining for their officers.

The same reportnoted that 29 states dont mandate the training in any way, with the reportfinding that police departments gave three main reasons as to why the trainingwasnt mandated:

  • Itcosts too much to provide the training
  • Theydont have qualified staff to provide the courses
  • Theybelieve the training is unnecessary

In thosestates, the number of hours that departments dedicate to de-escalation trainingcan vary widely.

In recent years. states with departments now mandated to have some form of de-escalation training have reported reductions in use-of-force incidents following the implementation of these teachings.

According to the same ADP report, The Dallas Police Department saw an 18% drop in use of force the year after its implementation of de-escalation training. Since 2010, excessive force complaints there have also dropped by an astounding 83%.

Evidencesuggests that officers who go through de-escalation training come away withmore sympathetic attitudes toward people with mental illness.

Astudy conducted in 2014 from Emory and George Washington universitiesanalyzed use of force incidents at six police agencies in the state of Georgia,The study found that officers trained in crisis intervention techniques weremore likely to engage verbally with mentally ill people and were more likely tocall for mental health transport rather than taking individuals to jail.


The Reality Is There Are Many Incidents Where No Matter What The Officer Does The Other Person Will Dictate What Happens But Agencies Have An Obligation To Try To Minimize Those Incidents And Where Possible Produce Outcomes That Minimize Harm

Proposed state laws that aim to de

In the era of COVID-19 and related lockdowns, attending in-person training like these two courses is difficult. But de-escalation is too important a topic for agencies to sit back and wait, putting off training until the pandemic has eased. In this article I will share some thoughts and considerations that can inform how law enforcement leaders discuss de-escalation with their officers and deliver instruction on the topic, whether through roll call, online training or even one-on-one conversations.

Communication or De-Escalation? Or Both?

Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Institute distinguishes between conflict communications and crisis communications. In general, conflict communications are used on criminal suspects, while crisis communicationstactics we associate with de-escalationare used on noncriminal subjects, including persons in crisis.

As Dr. Lewinski notes, however, its not that simple. The proper opportunity is necessary for de-escalation to be successful. De-escalation is particularly applicable to persons in crisis situations with limited risk. It should be noted a person who is in a severe emotional crisis or is severely agitated may not be able to comprehend or even hear attempts at de-escalation, which is based on a capacity for communication. Therefore, the situation could exceed the limited risk necessary for effective de-escalation.

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Benefits Of Active Threat Assessment

During an LE-citizen encounter, threat assessment helps objectively assess demeanor and differentiate behavior-based threats from personality quirks or symptoms of mental illness. An officer also may be able to better recognize when to call for back-up and/or a mental health response team. Assessment of behavior-based threats will also help an officer decide when to use de-escalation techniques and whether doing so might put his or others safety in jeopardy.

Sometimes an officer will need to use force, though the force does not need to be lethal. Assessing active threats through behavioral change helps an officer dynamically gauge a potential threat, and might be the reason an officer chooses to use a lower level of force as opposed to lethal force.

Integration of threat assessment training will help your officers assess the immediacy of a threat during even the most dangerous LE-citizen encounters. Being able to differentiate between when to de-escalate and when to use force will encourage your officers to apply de-escalation techniques when able, but not at the risk of their own or others safety.

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She hopes that police executives will allow researchers like herself to tag along to collect data and evaluate use of force reforms to find out if they work. She also stressed that de-escalation training needs to happen in conjunction with strong policies to hold leadership and rank-and-file officers accountable.

In Oklahoma City, she said, officers are required to fill out a form every time they use force, detailing which de-escalation techniques they attempted first, if any.

“If you just do the training, you might change attitudes but you are less likely to change behavior,” she said. “

As for the theory that de-escalation training makes good cops better and doesn’t help bad cops, “thats exactly why the training can not stand alone,” Engel said.

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Reducing Aggressive Confrontations With Resolution Education

The De-escalation training for police offered by us at Resolution Education will help the officers to incorporate effective strategies that will reduce aggressive and dangerous encounters by introducing them to alternative ways to handle stressful events.

The methods of de-escalation taught by the Resolution Education have been derived from psychology and help to accurately appeal to the aggressor in a way that releases his tension and keeps you in control of the situation. Successful de-escalation is achieved through a combination of emotional intelligence and empathy, effective communication skills, and timely application of conflict management techniques.

If the aggressor is behaving in a manner that is not an immediate threat to anyone, an officer trained in de-escalation techniques will engage them in talking and help them vent out their frustrations and use verbal communication techniques to diffuse the situation.

The process is designed to show officers the importance of diffusing a situation at any stage they might encounter, rather than using excessive force that will further aggravate the situation. When situations with erratic perpetrators intensify, they can easily turn violent and even deadly. Such disasters can be easily avoided through tactful handling of the situation by using de-escalation strategies.

Nashville Police Department Urges Officers To De

Buffalo Police trained in new de-escalation tactics

Just weeks after a Nashville police officer admitted in court that his decision to fatally shoot a man was not reasonably necessary, the department has unveiled an that emphasizes de-escalation.

The 31-page document reflects demands from last summers nationwide protests against police violence and several recent recommendations from the citys Community Oversight Board and Policing Policy Commission. And it makes it clearer that officers should try other options before punching, kicking or pulling a trigger.

WPLN News compared the old and new policies to see what changes were made. Here are some of the most notable revisions:

Setting a new tone

Demonstrators hold signs, one directly speaking to the Metro Nashville Police Department, during the March For Justice in June 2020.

When thousands of people poured into the streets of downtown last summer to protest police brutality, then-Chief Steve Anderson pledged to tear down the fences between the department and community members who had lost trust. But, at the time, the Metro Nashville Police Departments use-of-force policy made no mention of terms like duty to intervene or other reforms that protesters were demanding.

The new policy sets a different tone starting on the first page. It instructs officers to use force only when its necessary and reasonable. And that the force should not violate anyones civil rights.

When is force appropriate?

More explicit prohibitions

Looking for patterns

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States Still Dont Require De

Studies have shown that teaching officers to de-escalate confrontations can reduce violent encounters, but many states dont mandate it.

June 24, 2021 | byGracie Stockton

De-escalation training for police can save lives, but more than 20 states in the U.S. dont require it.

More than six years after a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown sparking protests and a national conversation about police violence 21 states still dont require officers to receive ongoing training in techniques to reduce the use of force, an APM Reports analysis has found.

Former President Barack Obamas 2015 Task Force on 21st Century Policing, established in the aftermath of Browns death, called for all officers to receive de-escalation training, which teaches them ways to resolve confrontation without violence. And a growing number of states have heeded that call.

Before Browns death in 2014, just eight states required officers to receive de-escalation training. By the end of 2017, 13 more states had added the training, according to an analysis by APM Reports. In the past three years, another eight states did so, bringing the total to 29.

Which states require de-escalation training

The states that recently instituted de-escalation training are Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.

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Black people are about three times more likely than white people to be killed by a police officer. Outrage over this long-running and relentless situation boiled over in the summer of 2020, with people across the U.S. taking to the streets to protest the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. The demonstrationswhich themselves were largely peacefulhave involved notable incidents of police violence toward protesters. These events have further amplified questions about officers use of force and one of the most popular strategies aimed at reducing it: de-escalation.

The 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the surge of civil unrest that followed prompted then president Barack Obama to assemble the Presidents Task Force on 21st Century Policing. A resulting report called for nationwide changes in law enforcement, with the aim of promoting effective crime reduction while building public trust. De-escalation was one strategy that subsequently gained many new followers.

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What Is Police De

De-escalation is a process designed to prevent conflict escalation and, ideally, resolve conflicts peacefully. Some subjects may be committed to escalating the conflict, so specific measures must be taken to avoid that. Ultimately, de-escalation should reduce a person’s agitation and the potential for violence.

According to a Foster City, California police de-escalation training presentation, de-escalation is “intended to escape escalations of conflict” and “reduce conflict before it develops.”

It’s important to remember that de-escalation is a philosophy, not a process. However, there are certain de-escalation techniques that can help. De-escalation training teaches police officers to slow things down, create space, ask open-ended questions, build a rapport with subjects, and hold off reaching for their guns.

Slow Down Make A Connection


Paul Monteen, a retired police chief from Crookston, Minn., stood at the front of a classroom inside a non-descript government building in Center City, an outer-edge Minneapolis suburb. “Don’t ask questions that can be answered yes or no, because I will guarantee you, you will get a yes or a no,” he explained to the officers and other public employees at a free, day-long de-escalation class a few months ago.

“You won’t find anything out. You need to open-end those questions. You know, ‘What’s bothering you? You’re mad. How come you’re mad?’ so that people will tell you what they’re thinking about,” he said.

This is what de-escalation training looks like.

Monteen was explaining how to connect with people in crisis to avoid violence. There was one message he hammered: Buy yourself some time. “Slow down,” he said. “Back off. Take cover. You don’t have to win.”

Like many states, Minnesota has been rocked by recent police shootings, including the 2016 death of Philando Castile and the 2015 shooting of Jamar Clark. It’s also among the 34 states that don’t require all police departments and sheriff’s offices to train officers in de-escalation.

Traditionally, officers have been trained to move quickly, take charge, and rapidly resolve a situation, said Bill Micklus, an officer for 29 years who serves as associate director of the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute and who designed the eight-hour class curriculum.

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What The Public Needs To Know About Police De

Police departments have been training their officers to use these tactics for many years, but its a two-way street

Agencies should adopt General Orders and/or policy statements making it clear that de-escalation is the preferred, tactically sound approach in many critical incidents.

De-escalation should be a core theme of an agencys training program.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard these and other cries that law enforcement must be trained in de-escalation tactics. Unless you have been living under the neighboring rock, you know that contemporary law enforcement training has been including de-escalation training for many years. These training sessions have involved:

1. Effective communications verbal persuasion tactics,

2. Using distance, cover and time when appropriate, and

3. Crisis Intervention Team training.

Not a New IdeaThe idea of de-escalation training is nothing new to most law enforcement trainers. We have been conducting this training via traditional classroom activities, video training, and scenario-based training for years. If feasible, based on the totality of the circumstances known, most every cop would agree that it would be desirable to resolve an incident without having to resort to using force.

We Must Train On What De

Conversely, crisis communication arises out of a How can I help you? angle. As officer de-escalate the situation, they seek to help the subject solve their perceived problem. To influence the subject, officers need to understand their perspective. Focusing on a persons behavior, how they are thinking and how they are feeling, rather than trying to diagnose them on the spot, can help officers point them toward that meaningful resolution.

When considering de-escalation, it is crucial to note the person in crisis must participate as well. The de-escalation process requires determining if the subject actually understands what is being said to them and if the subject is responsive to de-escalation attempts. Because of this, de-escalation is not possible in every situation. But good policy and training help officers know when de-escalation is achievable and how to successfully achieve it.

De-Escalation as Policy

We all know it: De-escalation is a buzz word its something that police reformers focus on, and for good reason. De-escalation isnt a new concept. It has been discussed and adopted in many agencies policy manuals over the last several years. Lexipols Use of Force Policy language addresses de-escalation as:

When circumstances reasonably permit, officers should use nonviolent strategies and techniques to decrease the intensity of the situation, improve decision-making, improve communication, reduce the need for force and increase voluntary compliance .

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