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De-escalation Training: What Works, Implementation Lessons, and Taking It to Scale; Plenary at the 2023 NIJ Research Conference

Police use of force, while infrequently used, is a tremendous concern to public safety in the United States when officers employ it excessively or inappropriately, causing injury or death and eroding public trust in law enforcement. This plenary from the 2023 NIJ Research Conference describes the Integrating, Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) de-escalation training program developed by the Police Executive Research Forum to guide officers in defusing critical incidents. A rigorous evaluation of ICAT found it reduced overall use of force as well as injuries to both officers and members of the public. Panelists will describe how research evidence was used to develop the training curriculum; discuss strategies to ensure training implementation fidelity and secure the buy-in of all ranks; describe preliminary findings from complementary NIJ-sponsored replication evaluations; and explore strategies to take ICAT to scale.

Led by Karhlton Moore, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the plenary was a discussion among

  • Robin Engel, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, National Policing Institute
  • Maris Herold, Chief, Boulder Police Department, Colorado
  • Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
  • Justin Witt, Sergeant, Louisville Metro Police Department, Kentucky

Date Published: August 30, 2023