As calls for police reform echo throughout the country, police agencies are at a critical moment in time when taking stock of agency policies and training must occur, if law enforcement hopes to remain locally relevant and nationally respected. Police reform training must include de-escalation training, but this alone is not enough. It is insufficient and short-sighted to practice de-escalation techniques that will only be applied once escalation has occurred.
Chuck Deakins, retired lieutenant commander, points out that
“De-escalation” starts way before we arrive on the scene. “De-escalation” for police must begin in the locker room, as we dress out, in the briefing room, loading up in our cars, and driving out of the station. De-escalation transcends every moment of a critical incident, from the first radio call, into that first field observation, and through to the last mop-up at a crime scene.
Modern policing not only includes de-escalation as “part of all of the functions, responsibilities, assignments, and workload that…policing demands;” it must also incorporate collaboration with community-oriented services and agencies, including mental health, the court, and probationary systems, and systems that meet the needs at the basic physiological level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
MILO Solutions can provide Modern Policing Simulation Training, immersing officers in an adaptive, life-like simulation environment where interactions with the community can be carefully practiced and analyzed. The end goal is to build both tactical and communication skills and to ensure that officers develop the good judgment and emotional control they need to best navigate every moment of a critical incident in order to keep everyone in the community safe. MILO’s Driving Force simulator takes officers from the beginning to the end of a call, immersing them in discernment and de-escalation every step of the way. Finally, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and simulation-based mental health awareness training can provide officers with the interactive judgment training they need in order to serve vulnerable populations and those in mental health crises.
Police reform solutions must focus on integrating police with the communities they serve, building trust and relationships as they work to facilitate health and safety for all community members. Police must be seen as allies, not enforcers; as supportive rather than punitive; as true members of the community.
Modern policing training can begin to bridge the gap between what services police can provide and what their communities need. Modern policing goes far beyond de-escalation and works to knit police and community members into a sustainable and holistic social fabric working towards a common goal of safety for all.