NY cops told to 'close eyes' during volatile situations
Tactic was introduced to officers attending an NYPD training session – part of the department’s new "smart policing" program
By Police1 Staff
NEW YORK — Police officers have been instructed to close their eyes and engage in breathing exercises when faced with tense and potentially dangerous situations on the beat.
According to the New York Post, the tactic was introduced to officers attending an NYPD training session – part of the department’s new “smart policing” program that began after the controversial in-custody death of Eric Garner.
“They said if you find yourself in a situation that’s getting heated, take a step back, close your eyes and take a deep breath,” one officer told the Post. “That’s pretty funny — that I would close my eyes in a tense situation.”
The program has reportedly been widely criticized by cops. One department official told the Post that around 80 percent of the officers that attended the training considered it a “waste of time.”
The news comes a few days after the Post reported that former Deputy Commissioner of Training, Michael Julian, suggested officers spray protesters with baby oil during demonstrations and pop breath mints if they felt the need to swear. Julian was later reassigned.