Tuesday, August 11, 2020

EPD Officers Complete More De-escalation Training

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 5:19 PM

click to enlarge Eureka Police officers at the scene of a July 23 standoff with a reportedly suicidal man. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Eureka Police officers at the scene of a July 23 standoff with a reportedly suicidal man.
The Eureka Police Department announced that it held its fourth in a series of de-escalation and tactical communications courses today, with 19 officers participating.

The 10-hour training was offered by "senior" EPD officers who attended a "nationally recognized train-the-trainer course" last year, according to a press release. The training is modeled after the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum's "Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics" (ICAT) program.

“One of the core values of the Eureka Police Department is our respect for the sanctity and value of all human life," EPD Chief Steve Watson said in a press release. "While not every incident can be successfully resolved without use of force, these important de-escalation skills and tactics can assist officers in defusing situations involving persons who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis.”

Nationally, the ICAT program has been praised in some circles. It is currently being implemented in Philadelphia and is credited with profound reductions in the use of police force and overall crime in Volusia County, Florida, according to a deep-dive report by the Philadelphia Citizen, which can be found here.

Today's training comes after four EPD officers — including three with prior crisis intervention training — fatally shot John Karl Sieger, 51, who had reportedly made suicidal statements before allegedly raising a handgun at officers during a tense standoff on Lowell Street on July 23.

For more information on the ICAT program, find the Police Executive Research Forum's report on it here. A nonprofit, the forum was founded in 1976 with the goal of fostering debate with an openness to challenging traditional police practices. Since 2014, the membership organization of police executives has reportedly focused on policies and training programs to minimize officers' use of lethal force.

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2020

Subject: De-Escalation and Tactical Communication Training

On August 11, 2020, the Eureka Police Department (EPD) held its fourth De-escalation and Tactical Communication course. 19 officers participated in this most recent 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 experienced EPD officers 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, the ICAT training program “is anchored by the Critical DecisionMaking 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.”

“One of the core values of the Eureka Police Department is our respect for the sanctity and value of all human life. While not every incident can be successfully resolved without use of force, these important de-escalation skills and tactics can assist officers in defusing situations involving persons who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis.”
~Chief Steve Watson

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

EPD will continue its commitment to provide de-escalation, CIT, and implicit
bias/procedural justice training for its members on an on-going basis.
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