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Webinar: De-escalation: How research is informing training and tactics

Gain a comprehensive overview of the current state of research on de-escalation tactics and techniques, and how this research informs training in law enforcement

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Register to attend this webinar on Monday, October 30, at 1 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. CT / 10 a.m. PT.

Keeping communities safe and enhancing officer skills and safety is of paramount importance for law enforcement, thus there is an ever-growing emphasis on the continued need to leverage de-escalation tactics. Understanding how recent research in this domain is informing and transforming police training methodologies is critical.

Join us for a 90-minute panel discussion that aims to shed light on the practical implementation of de-escalation techniques as an essential aspect of law enforcement.

This webinar will examine the research available on the intricacies of de-escalation tactics and techniques. We will explore the wealth of knowledge that has been collected and analyzed in the field, focusing on the sometimes complex relationships between theoretical knowledge and its real-world application.

Our aim is to enhance understanding of these critical concepts and provide a clearer path for their translation into effective police training and tactics. By bridging the gap between theory and practice, we strive to arm law enforcement professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate challenging situations in a manner that minimizes the risk of escalation and maintains public safety.

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the key concepts and principles underlying de-escalation, including communication, creating distance, using cover, creating time and utilizing additional resources.
  • Recognize the challenges and complexities in translating these principles into practical field tactics and techniques.
  • Gain a comprehensive overview of the current state of research on de-escalation tactics and techniques, and how this research informs training in law enforcement.
  • Identify the gaps between theoretical knowledge and practical application in the field and explore potential strategies for bridging these gaps.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how to incorporate the knowledge gained from research into practical training programs to enhance the efficacy of de-escalation techniques in real-world situations.

Can’t make the date? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording after the event.


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Moderator: Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., Panelists: Robin S. Engel, Ph.D., Chief Maris Herold, Sergeant Justin Witt

Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., was appointed by President Biden as Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and technology arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, on March 28, 2022. A nationally recognized criminal justice policy expert, Dr. La Vigne’s research expertise ranges from policing and corrections reform to reentry from prison, criminal justice technologies and evidence-based criminal justice practices. Prior to joining NIJ, she served as executive director of the Council on Criminal Justice’s Task Force on Policing. Before that, La Vigne served as vice president at the Urban Institute (Urban), a nonprofit social policy research organization based in Washington, D.C., where over the course of a decade, she directed Urban’s Justice Policy Center. Her tenure at Urban included serving as executive director of the congressionally mandated bipartisan Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections Reform.

Robin S. Engel, Ph.D., serves as Senior Vice President at the National Policing Institute, following over 25 years in academic positions within higher education institutions. As an award-winning researcher, she has partnered with dozens of police agencies in the US and internationally, served as Principal Investigator for over a hundred research studies and projects, and ranked among the top academics nationally in criminal justice/criminology. From 2015-2019, she served as Vice President for Safety and Reform at the University of Cincinnati, where her executive duties included oversight of daily operations and successful implementation of comprehensive police reforms in the aftermath of a fatal police shooting of an unarmed motorist. As a top scholar and trusted leading authority in police science, Dr. Engel oversees the Institute’s vast scientific investments designed to translate and integrate research into practice.

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold began her professional career as a social worker, serving as a sexual assault investigator and a juvenile psychiatric intake worker, before joining the Cincinnati Police Department in 1993. Throughout her tenure at CPD, Chief Herold developed and implemented several notable initiatives, including mental health response teams, numerous place-based crime reduction efforts, and ethical and constitutional responses to address community needs associated with homelessness and substance abuse issues. She has served as police chief in Boulder, Colorado since April 2020, leading her community and agency through the 2021 King Soopers mass shooting. She is committed to ensuring that the Boulder Police Department is recognized across the country as a model police agency, dedicated to evidence-based innovation and reform.

Sergeant Justin Witt is a veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Currently, Sgt. Witt is assigned to the Training Unit where he is the Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives. Sgt. Witt has prior experience as a patrol sergeant, an instructor in the Advanced Training Section of the Louisville Metro Police Department and as a plainclothes narcotics detective as well as, being on a gang task force in Louisville. He has also led the department’s PTO Program. Sergeant Witt has been involved with the writing of de-escalation policies for law enforcement agencies in partnership with other members of the law enforcement community and IACP.

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