Police reform can take many forms, but one of the most common changes made by lawmakers across the nation is the creation of “de-escalation” training programs for police officers. This type of training is designed to minimize instances of police brutality by encouraging officers to employ nonviolent strategies to deal with potential suspects. But what exactly is de-escalation training, anyway? How has this strategy been employed in Pennsylvania, and what kind of an effect is it having?

Although many police officers in Pennsylvania have now received de-escalation training, there is no guarantee that they will actually use this training on a regular basis. Individuals may still be harmed by negligent officers. For these individuals, the fact that officers have received de-escalation training does little to heal their injuries or restore their confidence in law enforcement. Injured members of the public have the opportunity to file lawsuits against negligent officers in Pennsylvania, and this can provide them with a sense of justice. They can also receive a settlement for their damages.

De-Escalation Training is Now Required in Pennsylvania

Back in 2020, Governor Tom Wolf signed a police reform bill that required all police departments to implement new harm reduction techniques and engage in de-escalation training. This is why so many police departments in Pennsylvania are now going through this type of training.

Although the bill was signed more than a year ago, many departments are still just beginning to implement their own de-escalation training programs. For example, in May of 2021, it was reported that police officers in Westtown-East Goshen were just beginning to attend their first sessions of de-escalation training. This shows that even though changes have been made to Pennsylvania’s laws, it may take several years before all officers in the state have received de-escalation training.

What is De-Escalation Training?

The term “de-escalation” seems pretty impressive, but what does it actually mean? In Pennsylvania, this training follows the “L.E.A.D.S” system. This stands for “Law Enforcement Active De-Escalation Strategies.” This is typically administered as a one-day course, and it involves a number of key points:

  • Risk management for officer safety
  • Anger management and control techniques
  • Understanding how complaints are used against officers in lawsuits
  • Principles of emotional intelligence
  • Professional benefits of active diffusion strategies
  • Methods of effective verbal de-escalation strategies
  • Understanding physiological changes that occur during aggression
  • Cognitive limitations for active diffusion
  • Methods for re-directing thought processes
  • Different communication styles with appropriate response tactics
  • Motivational interviewing techniques
  • Using distractions to create tactical advantages
  • Communication and physical strategies to de-escalate situations

Officers who complete this course receive an official certification. This program has also been reviewed and approved by the US Department of Justice.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been harmed in a police incident, you have every right to explore your legal options alongside a qualified, experienced attorney. These legal professionals can help you move forward in an effective, confident manner. With the right legal representation, you can receive a settlement for your damages and hold negligent officers accountable for their actions. Book your consultation today.