2021 – MCJA Mandatory: De-Escalation

by | May 24, 2021

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This training is based upon, and consistent with: MCJA 2021 Mandatory Training Lesson Plan. Specific legal questions should be directed to the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit, and or the Maine Office of the Attorney General.

Instructional Goal

De-escalation is a key concept to routine law enforcement related practices and is a frequently utilized tool for law enforcement officers in the attempt to diffuse and mitigate stressful, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous situations. The use of effective de-escalation and conflict resolution tactics, specifically when interacting with individuals experiencing heightened emotional states, such as, fear, anxiety, aggression, frustration, or when interacting with individuals suffering from underlying substance abuse disorders, mental health disorders, medical disorders or a combination of the aforementioned states, may reduce the likelihood of physical force in law enforcement.

This course will introduce law enforcement officers to the fundamentals of de-escalation, and the identification of indicators of mental and/or emotional states of an individual, potential contributing factors to an individual’s behavior, such as past experiences with law enforcement and the forms in which aggression may be observed. This course will also introduce law enforcement officers to effective verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques and will aid law enforcement officers in recognizing potentially negative verbal and non-verbal responses to situations involving conflict.  

Additionally, this course will convey the importance of officer safety, regardless of the type of conflict or crisis and will provide several examples of considerations preceding involvement.

Performance Objectives

At the end of this unit of instruction, students will be able to accomplish the following objectives as outlined in the lesson:

1. Define “de-escalation”.

2. Identify three (3) of the five (5) indicators of an individual’s mental or emotional state.

3. Identify three (3) of the five (5) factors that may influence an individual’s perception or opinion of law enforcement.

4. Identify the four (4) forms of aggression.

5. Identify four (4) of the eight (8) purposes of aggression.

6. Identify the two (2) types of aggression.

7. Identify four (4) of the nine (9) principles of conflict resolution.

8. Identify examples of effective verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques used when interacting with individual(s) in crisis and/or conflict.

9. Identify the three (3) principles of an empathetic response when interacting with individual(s) in crisis and/or conflict.