Realistic De-escalation Training

1 or 2-Day Training Course


Law enforcement has come under intense pressure in recent years to prioritize its efforts at “de-escalation.” We will discuss the often-challenging expectations of law enforcement professionals to gain compliance without using physical force and how oftentimes, this may not be realistic or safe.  The legitimate goal of de-escalation tactics is to resolve problems with minimal harm. This distinction is critical. 

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.

Training Objectives

At the end of this training, the participant will be able to:
  • Avoid dangerous “de-escalation myths” that can jeopardize both officers and subjects…as well as entire agencies and communities.
  • Quickly evaluate any interaction to determine whether de-escalation efforts are reasonable to consider, tactically practical, and likely to be successful.
  • Use such critical Force Science concepts as the “Response-ability Zone” and the “7 T’s De-escalation Evaluation Model” to evaluate options at a scene or during investigations.
  • Improve your ability to safely and effectively navigate challenging encounters with subjects in mental crisis.
  • Dramatically enhance de-escalation efforts by strategically combining human performance research findings, observations of subject behavior, and the right psychological techniques for negotiation and influence.
  • Employ specialized questions specifically designed to cognitively engage individuals in crisis and increase the likelihood of a non-forceful resolution.
  • 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.
  • Employ proven techniques to overcome resistance and avoid or defuse physical confrontations.
  • 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.

Quick Breakdown

  • 1 or 2-Day Course
  • 1 or 2 Expert Instructors
  • Tuition: $295 to $495

Course Description

In this timely two-day program, students learn what it really takes to assess potentially violent confrontations accurately and, when feasible, defuse them with easy-to-grasp, successfully applied tactics to avoid use of force crises. The program 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 de-escalation course is not just a rehashed or relabeled communication course. From our analysis of de-escalation, we have determined it can involve the total integration of all the skills and tools an officer can bring to the situation. The class will teach and illustrate the full combination of tactical and communication skills in real scenarios experienced and successfully managed by Force Science Staff.

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. 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 professionals, 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 a potentially confrontational encounter.

Course Content

The course is designed in all aspects to be “street relevant.” Students will be taught how to enhance and utilize their current skill sets to a variety of unique and difficult situations, particularly with individuals in the middle of a crisis.

As part of the course, students will be introduced to the critical elements of the new Force Science “Response-ability Zone” and the “7 T’s De-escalation Evaluation Model”, designed to help create response options in pressurized encounters, better facilitate non-forceful resolutions and enhance investigators’ ability to evaluate the feasibility of de-escalation options in a confrontation.

This unique content is expertly designed under the direction of Dr. Bill Lewinski to be smoothly integrated into an agency’s training curriculum to be actively engaged during tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving field encounters…and then to be brought to bear in critical investigations of both force and non-force events, as well as in media and citizen education.

Given today’s pervasive, emotionally charged atmosphere, Force Science’s practical “Realistic De-escalation” training is invaluable for virtually all law enforcement professionals, from street officers, trainers, PIOs, and supervisors to investigators, administrators, and attorneys.

The goal of the course is to strengthen the ability of officers to employ de-escalation techniques whenever possible and to deepen the knowledge of force investigators and reviewers regarding the often-misunderstood dynamics involved—all with the help of relevant proven science. A critical grasp and mastery of certain fundamental human performance factors can have a surprisingly powerful influence in resolving and judging even the most challenging confrontations.

Dr. Bill LewinskiExecutive Director, Force Science Institute

Program Delivery

Two-thirds of the class will be a lecture, slide, and video presentation. The remainder of the time focused on clinical presentations of scenarios for students to engage and analyze in Socratic fashion and provide a rationale for their recommendations at various critical decision points. These scenarios will fully exploit and utilize all the officer’s skills and tools, starting with the information they acquire from dispatch and their responses to that in facilitating tactical and verbal de-escalation. The scenarios will be directed toward an ultimate resolution in some fashion.

Recent Testimonials

  • It is very helpful and extremely important to have access to the type of realistic, scientifically-based de-escalation training that Force Science offers. This is a critical topic that police departments are facing more and more. The training I have seen so far from other sources has been ‘all over the place’ and typically impractical and unrealistic and often seems to set officers up for failure. Not so with Force Science de-escalation training!

    Chief Brian Hughes
    North Strabane Township Police
  • This is the class I have been waiting for! This program has shifted my thoughts completely on how to teach this material.

    Detective T.J. White
    Fort Lauderdale Police Department
  • This was a great class! Much better than any other de-escalation training I have received. Very realistic with information that will be useful in the real world.

    Cobb County Sheriff's Office
    Major Ken Davis
    Cobb County Sheriff's Office
  • One of the best courses I have ever attended. I was very impressed by the high level of professionalism of the Force Science instructors and staff.

    Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
    Corporal Michael Johnson
    Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office


  • Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Effective date: January 06, 2019

Force Science Institute, Ltd. (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://www.forcescience.org/ website (hereinafter referred to as the “Service”).

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