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ASU study shows officer de-escalation training is effective

By Reyna Preciado
Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 3:08pm
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ASU has completed a study launched in 2017 on the impact of de-escalation training for officers in the Tempe Police Department. The findings show the training is effective for officers when handling dangerous situations.

The research was led by Michael White with ASU’s Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety. He says at the time, it was the first study of its kind, and the de-escalation tactics were specifically tailored to suit the officers and their community. He says there was a noticeable difference in officer behavior.

“They were less likely to do some negative things. Officers who got the training were less likely to use a condescending or patronizing tone with the citizen. They were less likely to use charged or imposing body language, like putting your hand on your gun. So, you would never document these kinds of outcomes just by looking at administrative use-of-force data," said White. 

White says he hopes other law enforcement agencies follow their process in designing de-escalation training specific to the community.

The Department of Justice is currently reviewing the report and may use it to help establish recommendations.

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