In February, we announced that the York County Safety Collab had acquired a grant to provide de-escalation training for all the police departments in York County over the next two years. Training for key trainers began this month, and included classroom lectures, role-playing, and simulations. Officers were taught and practiced how to identify a potentially escalating situation, and utilized a number of tools and solutions to resolve the conflict without force or further escalation.
The National De-escalation Training Center, a non-profit institution supported by the Department of Justice and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provided the curriculum and instruction. Their certified, evidence-based, best practice curriculum focuses on situational awareness, body language, appropriate approaches and distancing, recognizing mental health and disability issues, and identifying both active and passive threats.
A recent study of the exact same training we are utilizing was conducted with the Louisville Metro Police Department. That study demonstrated a 28% reduction in uses of force, a 26% reduction in citizen injuries, and a 36% reduction in officer injuries that were directly attributed to the de-escalation training.
The motto of the York County Safety Collab is “safer together.” For us, that means everyone. We want all citizens of York County to feel safer. We want all of our police officers to feel safer. We want visitors to our county to feel safer. This training is one of the best tools we can offer our law enforcement to ensure that goal is realized.
How Can You Help?
While training is now underway, an additional $150,000 is still needed to bring this vital training to all 475+ police officers in York County.