Today’s scrutiny placed upon police officers and other first responders have resulted in a growing need to master verbal conflict and crisis communication skills. When verbal encounters become adversarial and escalate, they can often lead to controversial use of force issues. When many of these incidents are reviewed the officer is often scrutinized for their lack of de-escalation techniques. Verbal de-escalation has become an essential training issue in law enforcement and was included in The National Consensus Policy on Use of Force (January 2017). The policy is the result of collaboration between 11 agencies, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Although no training can ever reasonably be expected to stop all incidents in escalating to use of force, many citizens and communities have begun to expect officers receive training and when possible apply verbal de-escalation strategies.
This course is designed to help individuals working in law enforcement, corrections as well as EMT’s Fire Fighters, and others understand and deal with individuals who are agitated or in crisis.
Attendees will learn that communicating verbally during a potential force encounter may aid in stabilizing the situation. Verbal de-escalation may reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options, and resources can be called upon to resolve the situation.
Attendees will learn many of the same skills Crisis/Hostage negotiators use to de-escalate, build rapport, and move the subject agitation/crisis towards the rational communications that benefits everyone involved.
Attendees will also learn how to become more effective listeners which in turn will make individuals better officers, report takers, and overall better communicators. This can aid in the reduction of officer complaints and possibly in some instances even use of force issuies.
At the conclusion of this course, the participant should be able to do the following:
- Understand what happens physiologically when subjects are agitated or in crisis.
- Techniques that are effective in getting the subject to think and act rationally
- Know how to develop and maintain rapport.
- Employ active listening skills to deescalate the subject and work towards gaining compliance.
- How to persuade individuals to cooperate without the use of force.
- Move beyond basic verbal commands to actual problem solving dialog with persons in extreme crisis
- Understand the steps needed to effect behavioral change.
- Understand and recognize body language and facial expressions
- Understand the benefits of listening and letting the subject “Tell their story”
- Understand the potential benefits of slowing things down and using time to de-escalate