Following the Police Executive Research Forum ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) train-the-trainer course last spring, the Eureka Police Department (EPD) held its first in house De-escalation and Tactical Communication training on Friday, November 1, 2019.
Eleven EPD Officers completed the ten-hour course which provided tools, skills, and options needed to successfully defuse a range of critical incidents. The training focused on situations involving persons in crisis situations and those who are armed with weapons other than firearms.
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
The skills learned in this course are used by EPD officers daily. Just yesterday, November 5, 2019, officers responded to a subject who was breaking motel windows and making suicidal threats with the broken glass. Officers negotiated with the female and a County mental health worker responded to the scene. After more than an hour of negotiating, the subject agreed to be transported for evaluation.
The Eureka Police Department is planning additional on-going De-escalation and Tactical Communication and CIT training for its officers and professional staff in the future.
Quote from Chief Watson, “The Eureka Police Department embraces a ‘guardian’ mentality of law enforcement. Safeguarding public trust is a crucial component to successful policing and the perception of police legitimacy in our community. Reducing the need for use of force where feasible through effective de-escalation and tactical communication practices enhances a department’s legitimacy and trust in the eyes of those we are sworn to serve and protect. It also helps keep our officers and citizens safe as we strive toward the goal that ‘everyone goes home.’”