Realistic De-escalation Instructor Course

2-Day Course | Hosting Options Available

Course Description

This course thoroughly dissects the complex concept of “de-escalation” and the many elements involved in determining its feasibility and effectiveness in a variety of encounters.  This information is also critical for investigators and administrators when evaluating the feasibility of employing de-escalation techniques in a pressurized, rapidly unfolding encounter.

The course—crucial for virtually all law enforcement professional trainers, from street officers and field supervisors to investigators, attorneys and administrators—mutes the rhetoric prevalent in today’s emotionally charged atmosphere and unbiasedly focuses on the proven scientific realities surrounding human behavior as they apply to efforts to de-escalate situations.

The course will present concepts and methods to support de-escalation efforts when personal connections can be made.  Attendees will be provided with knowledge to apply to, and to address the needs of those in mental health crisis or those whose perception of reality is altered.  The course is designed to improve the law enforcement officer’s ability to manage human beings by enhancing skills to establish contact, build rapport, and gain influence to achieve a police objective.

Course Goal

The goal of this program is to teach law enforcement professionals the necessary skills to accurately assess potentially violent confrontations and, when feasible, defuse them with easy-to-grasp, successfully applied tactics to avoid use-of-force crises.           This course also provides crucial information to allow successful students to learn the material needed to successfully teach these concepts to their fellow officers.  The ultimate goal of this Force Science course is to enhance de-escalation efforts with the help of science – both in the field and in training – while also critically applying an understanding of human factors and performance research to most effectively address challenging situations with individuals in the midst of a crisis.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete this training will be able to: 

  • Articulate what ‘de-escalation’ actually means, what the objectives of de-escalation are, and in what situations de-escalation can and cannot be considered
  • Discuss the tactical principles of de-escalation, risk assessment and decision-making
  • Quickly evaluate an interaction to determine whether de-escalation efforts are reasonable to consider, tactically practical, and likely to be successful
  • Apply critical Force Science® concepts such as the “Response-ability Zone” and the “7 T’s De-escalation Evaluation Model” to evaluate tactics that are needed or likely to be successful in supporting a de-escalation process
  • Enhance their ability to make a connection, establish rapport and apply effective principles of persuasion with difficult subjects, including mentally ill subjects, through the application of the ‘Behavioral Influence Stairway Model’
  • Enhance de-escalation efforts by strategically combining human performance research findings, observations of subject behavior, and the right psychological techniques for negotiation and influence
  • Learn and apply the ‘Thought/Emotion/Behavior’ (TEB) Matrix to quickly recognize whether a subject is in ‘conflict’, ‘crisis’ or has ‘contaminated’ thinking and therefore which strategies of persuasion are likely to be the most effective
  • Employ specialized questions specifically designed to cognitively engage individuals in crisis and increase the likelihood of resolution that either avoids force or minimizes the amount necessary to obtain control
  • Better ensure that officers’ approach and control strategies maximize their response options while minimizing the potential for unnecessary emotional and/or physical escalation
  • Balance the desirability of trying to resolve a conflict peacefully with the need to maintain officer and citizen safety
  • Apply principles of officer self-regulation and emotional control in order to maintain rational thinking processes
  • Recognize and list common barriers to effective communication that officers commonly use unintentionally
  • Discuss how professional de-escalation techniques embrace the concepts of ‘fair and impartial’ and ‘rightful policing’ principles
  • Integrate the content from this program to increase the breadth and effectiveness of in-house de-escalation training programs
  • Assist investigators and others reviewing uses of force to recognize the pivotal situational and behavioral factors that must be considered when assessing whether de-escalation efforts might have been feasible and potentially effective
  • Help community members and the media better understand what realistic de-escalation entails and the challenges that subjects may present that can inhibit, if not prohibit, an officer’s ability to safely de-escalate.

Interested in Hosting Course?

Are you looking for agency-wide training, no problem! Click the button below, and take a few minutes, complete some basic to help us get started. Our Training Coordinator will contact you within a few business days to review class options, pricing, and hosting requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a test?

Yes, a pre-test is administered at the beginning of the course or can be completed online prior to arrival. A final examination is administered at the conclusion of the course.

Is there daily homework?

There is no assigned homework for this course, but students are encouraged to interact with other students to discuss the course, consider questions for the following sessions, and to review the cases and materials presented.

Is class participation expected?

Scenarios and group exercise participation is mandatory. Students are strongly encouraged to fully participate in classroom discussions, ask questions and to ensure all of their questions from the pre-test are fully answered before they take the final exam.

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