United States Police Station looking for de-escalation training | WGN 720 radio


CESO, Maine (AP) – A former employee who was angry with the dismissal cut the tires on his boss’s car and had a knife when police arrived.

When the man shouted, three policemen moved into a safe distance. One policeman had a stun gun and the other a pistol.

Third, I used the most important tool, motivation to speak.

Here in the parking lot of the school in Maine, the urgency was false, but the strategy was very realistic. Police officers take training courses offered by the Police Executive Research Forum, which is attended by thousands of police officers across the country this year. We teach the cops: keep a safe distance and slow things down.

The Washington, DC-based organization is the nation’s largest police think tank. The two-day training currently has a long waiting list.

“The most common mistake is to rush into situations where you don’t need to rush,” said New York Police Department Stephen Stephanakos, who has been brought in to help train police officers. “Compressing time and space usually doesn’t do what we want. “

Since the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed, calls for police defense have increased, especially as police enact reforms to crack down on police atrocities and police stations seek training on better ways of dealing with civilians. Demand has skyrocketed.

Training activities at the Police Executive Research Forum began five years after the murder of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, and has been updated with new technology since then. According to forum director Chuck Wechsler, the idea came from Britain, where most officers do not have pistols. It combines classroom training with storylines that unfold with the actor, giving executives time to implement what they have learned.

The goal is to train as many of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States as possible.

New York City has announced that the 36,500 police officers will be trained and that the 35,000 New Jersey police officers will also be trained. A small ministry reaches out and the agency organizes regional sessions. The first regional session will be held in late July for officers from 90 New England police stations, who are expected to report what they have learned to their departments and train other officers. There was also a session in Colorado. The last practice ended Friday with Tampa.

We ask a lot of the police. Jack Clements, the Saco Police Chief, who hosted the event in New England, said they had to be roadside psychologists, family counselors, mental health workers and even soldiers during the event. active shooting events.

It is therefore important to repeat.

“Rather than rushing into a deadly encounter and getting involved, recover, slow down, chat, plan. Then engage. If it takes an hour to climb this guy. It is very good. Take your time, ”said the chef.

Some officers say the training has already saved lives.

In Texas, weeks after training in Harris County, police responded to a call from a woman who killed herself with a knife. The woman collided with the car her boyfriend was sitting in and collided with her agent before escaping and trapping her in the apartment.

The first officer at the scene kicked the door, but Sgt. Pete Smith slowed things down and struck up a conversation when he arrived. Convinced that he had come to help, the woman dropped the knife.

Instead of violent arrests, or worse, she was taken for a mental health assessment, said Sgt. Jose Gomez, member of the Department’s Behavioral Health Training Unit, responsible for providing training.

At Saco, the executives spent the first day in class, then practiced role-playing games on the second day. The scenario focused on most encounters with unarmed civilians, but could involve knives and weapons.

In the tire cut scenario, three police officers were moved away from the man showing the knife. They said the man was a threat, but as long as he was at a safe distance it wasn’t imminent. The three immediately appointed officers to deliver a speech.

While the cops and muggers talked and communicated, a long moment was dragged and the conversation was able to drift away from the boss. They ended up talking about car customization. The man put down the knife.

After the exercise, officers in New Haven, Connecticut, said in a report that they had the “21-foot rule” in mind.

The distance of 21 feet is sometimes referred to as the “kill zone”. At this distance, he dug into the police that someone armed with a knife, baseball bat or other weapon could quickly reduce the distance and cause fatal injuries.

Officers who want to protect themselves and survive to return home at the end of the shift are likely to use lethal force simply because they have been trained to do so when the distance limit has been exceeded. To become.

After listening to the conversation after the training, Wechsler said he was gripped by the consequences of what he believed to be the arbitrary rules taught in police training.

“These are what you call legal but terrible types of shooting,” Wechsler said.

Every now and then he would say that winning meant stepping back to keep one’s distance, rather than diving into a situation or standing on the ground. He said it meant taking the time to assess and communicate.

Rafael Thornton, who acted as a knife-wielding assailant, said officers weren’t always sold for textbook training. But it depends on the role play, he said.

Thornton, who works for the Camden County Police Department in New Jersey, said: “If there are refusals when leaving the classroom, they are really okay when they leave the classroom. . They can put into practice what they have learned.


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