Senate bill proposes new training curriculum for law enforcement focused on de-escalation

U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recently introduced the Law Enforcement Scenario-Based Training for Safety and De-Escalation Act (S.4847), which would require the Department of Justice to create a new training curriculum.

This curriculum would, as the name implies, be based on de-escalation and tamping down on use of force. In its place, it would promote situational awareness, physical and emotional responses to stress, problem-solving, proper crisis intervention methodologies and, overall, improving relations between and the safety of officers and their communities. Such work would be promoted through immersive, real-life scenarios offered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

“Law enforcement officers risk their lives every single day to keep our communities safe, and they deserve training and resources that help them handle the most difficult situations,” Tillis said. “This bipartisan legislation will help law enforcement receive training to de-escalate a host of crises, including those involving people with mental health or drug dependency issues. Improved training will result in improved safety for both law enforcement officers and the people they regularly interact with.”

The De-Escalation Act would also put money on the line, backing public and private entities that train law enforcement officers using its curriculum with a new grant program. Ideally, the training itself would be openly accessible by all law enforcement officers nationwide.

As it stands, both the Fraternal Order of Police and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association have endorsed the bill, which has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Chris Galford

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