On July 9, 2020, the Eureka Police Department (EPD) held another in house De-escalation and Tactical Communication course. About a dozen EPD officers participated in this latest training which is modeled from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) program Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT).
The ten-hour multifaceted training was led by EPD Sergeants LaFrance and Rabang and Officer Nunez, who attended a nationally recognized train-the-trainer course in 2019 hosted locally by the Eureka Police Department. ICAT accompanies Crisis Intervention (CIT) and Principled Policing (Implicit Bias/Procedural Justice)—other vital fields in which EPD officers also receive training. This training course provides officers the tools, skills, and options needed to successfully defuse a range of critical incidents.
According to PERF, “ICAT is a new way of thinking about use-of-force training for police officers. ICAT is designed especially for situations involving persons who are unarmed or are armed with weapons other than firearms, and who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis. The training program is anchored by the Critical Decision-Making Model that helps officers assess situations, make safe and effective decisions, and document and learn from their actions. ICAT incorporates different skill sets into a unified training approach that emphasizes scenario-based exercises, as well as lecture and case study opportunities.”
The training blended in-depth discussion and realistic scenarios requiring them to apply the tactics and communications skills they learned. Topics included:
- Critical decision-making
- Crisis recognition
- Tactical communications
- Operational tactics
Chief Watson said, “The critical skills learned in this course are used by EPD officers daily. As our community’s protectors, defenders and peacekeepers, the Eureka Police Department is committed to a “guardian policing” mindset. Reducing the use of force where feasible through effective de-escalation techniques not only increases the safety of our officers and citizens, but it also enhances a law enforcement agency’s legitimacy and trust in the eyes of those we are sworn to serve and protect.”
EPD has another in-house de-escalation course (our fourth ICAT training since May 2019) scheduled for next month. EPD will continue to provide de-escalation, CIT, and implicit bias/procedural justice training for its members on an on-going basis.