The Eureka Police Department has established a new award to recognize sworn personnel who successfully preserve human life under extremely dangerous conditions through the exceptional use of tactical restraint and de-escalation techniques.
The Guardian Award:
…is awarded to sworn officers who displayed courageous restraint and employed exceptional tactical de-escalation techniques to successfully resolve a dangerous situation that could have otherwise resulted in the legally justified use of deadly force, thereby resulting in the preservation of a human life.
This award is not intended to place officers in unreasonable positions of increased danger, or to prioritize the lives of dangerous criminals over that of officers, or to encourage irresponsible risk taking that needlessly and recklessly endangers self or others. Rather, this recognition is an affirmative statement of our belief in the intrinsic value of all human life, and our commitment as a law enforcement organization to embrace a guardian policing mindset that builds trust and legitimacy with the public.
“In Plato’s vision of a perfect society — in a republic that honors the core of democracy — the greatest amount of power is given to those called the Guardians. Only those with the most impeccable character are chosen to bear the responsibility of protecting the democracy.” (The Nobility of Policing, 2008)
EPD has been incorporating de-escalation tactics and training (time, talk, tactics and tools) for a number of years now, and a more intensive training course for Patrol officers is being scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. The department also actively participates in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).