Where time, distance, communication, and circumstance permit, and considering the safety of officers and the public, officers shall attempt to de-escalate situations through verbal dialogue and other de-escalation techniques. The goal of de-escalation techniques is to slow down or stabilize the situation so that additional time and resources can be used to resolve the situation with a minimal amount of control, when possible.
Since 2015, CPD has collaborated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to deliver Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. CPD has trained approximately 157 officers on the CIT model. Additionally, in 2018 the department began hosting the training to allow officers from other law enforcement agencies to attend.
In 2015, CPD’s tactical teams (SWAT) training incorporated de-escalation tactics which became a core element of their training.
In 2017, CPD began conducting mandatory yearly in-service de-escalation training for all police officers, including an emphasis on scenario-based components. In addition to this training, officers receive annual training in ethics, profiling, unconscious bias, and interacting with mentally ill citizens.
In 2018, CPD began training officers in the Department of Justice’s VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program.
Since 2018, CPD has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Community Crisis Response and Intervention team (CCRI) to utilize de-escalation techniques when interacting with members of the public who may experience a wide range of mental health crises.
In 2020, CPD began teaching Police Executive Research Forum-certified (PERF) de-escalation classes to all new hires.
Additionally, CPD requires officers to use de-escalation techniques when dealing with individuals who may be emotionally disturbed or mentally ill. (Recognizing the Mentally Ill Policy, Section 5.0)