De-Escalation Training Network
As there is no “one program fits all” solution to de-escalation, the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS Office) National De-Escalation Training Network offers a vast array of training and resources to assist departments in meeting its de-escalation training needs—at no cost to agencies. Several delivery options are available, including traditional in-person instruction, live virtual sessions, and online training.
Law enforcement use of force has long been a topic of national and local discussion, especially when a high-profile case heightens community awareness. The concept of de-escalation has been a part of law enforcement use-of-force discussions for decades. De-escalation refers to the range of verbal and nonverbal skills used to slow down the sequence of events, enhance situational awareness, conduct proper threat assessments, and allow for better decision-making to reduce the likelihood that a situation will escalate into a physical confrontation or injury and to ensure the safest possible outcomes.
De-escalation should be viewed holistically by law enforcement agencies. De-escalation includes aspects of communication and physical tactics, but it is also important to recognize the role that community engagement and procedural justice play in ensuring police-community encounters are safe for everyone. The COPS Office also encourages an agency-wide comprehensive approach to de-escalation that includes individual-level de-escalation, implicit bias, and duty-to-intervene techniques training. In addition to training, agencies should consider other organizational supports, such as data analysis, after-action reviews of use-of-force incidents, and other efforts to build agency knowledge and implement best practices in de-escalation.
All ranks and experience of law enforcement officers, including basic entry-level recruits.
This project was developed by St. Petersburg College and was supported by cooperative agreement 15JCOPS-21-GK-02425-SPPS by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
The COPS Office National De-Escalation Training Center Network provides training and resources to state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies. In 2021, St. Petersburg College’s Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI) was designated as the National De-Escalation Training Network Coordinator in collaboration with Fort Hays State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to address the need for de-escalation training for law enforcement agencies.