Disengagement and De-escalation have become the new buzz words in law enforcement. Across North America Chiefs and Sheriffs are telling their trainers to find training programs that focus on Disengagement and De-escalation. Why? Because we have allowed the screamers, the yellers, the protestors, the politicians and the special interest groups to bully us into believing that disengagement and de-escalation, along with body cameras, are the panacea that will end all the strife, controversy and conflict.
We need to stand up and say “Stop”. Stop the madness. Disengagement and de-escalation are not a magic wand that will some how make everyone happy. They are simply part of the repertoire of law enforcement professionals.
Instead of focusing on these two issues, ensure you are teaching decision making in all areas of training. Make sure you build decision training into everything you teach. Decision making includes disengagement and de-escalation. Decision training teaches officers what they can do, when they can do it and when it is appropriate to do what the law and policy allow them to do.
Start by going through your training programs and identifying:
- All the ways you currently teach decision making. This will demonstrate that you are already doing this.
- All the places where you can include decision making in your training. This will allow you to enhance the training.
As part of decision training teach your officers the following two questions to help guide the decision making process:
- What’s Important Now?
- What is the right thing to do?
When you teach officers to make good decisions the rest of the pieces fall into place.
Take care and always remember Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?
Winning Mind Training – Inspiring Change through Excellence in Training.
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