PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new reality-based program in the Philadelphia Police Department is hoping to continue the decline of police-involved shootings by teaching cops how to resolve stressful and potentially violent situations.
KYW’s Kristen Johanson got an exclusive hands-on experience of how it works, and why cops say it’s not enough.
It’s called Reality Based De-escalation Training – instructors teach cops how to lawfully deal with volatile scenarios.
“Every time somebody is yelling, someone is screaming, somebody has their hands in their pockets, that is stressful events,” said Sergeant Ken Gill.
Gill leads the training and says people think they’ll react favorably in tense situations.
“We are almost rewiring the police officers,” he said.
By focusing on three concepts:
“Slowing the momentum down, creating distance and using cover and concealment,” Gill said.
The group trains about ten patrol cops a day.
“Officers absolutely love it,” he said. “The biggest thing is they want to know why they aren’t getting this training 3-4 times a year.”
Gill points to money and personnel as factors.
“We have 64-6,500 police officers that we need to try to train, but if we can only pull a certain amount of people out of patrol, because they are short as it is, how can we get them up here,” he said.
So far this year in Philadelphia there have been eight police-involved shootings, and that number down from a total of 23 in 2016.