Officers train in use of force and de-escalation tactics at former JJE – The Post-Searchlight
On Tuesday morning, deputies and officers from the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Bainbridge Public Safety, Southern Regional Technical College and the Community Supervision Department all arrived at the former John-Johnson Elementary School to participate in a 5-scene scenario that would help teach judgment use of force and de-escalation tactics.
The five scenarios provided various real-life calls that officers would normally be dispatched to and officers would then have to decide whether to use their taser, pepper spray, or weapon. The hope was that in all scenarios the officers would be able to talk about the subject and never have to use force.
The first scenario included a suspicious person/mental subject with a baseball bat, who claimed to be walking the streets looking for his friend to play baseball with. Although the individual looked suspicious, no crime was committed and most of the trainees were able to defuse the subject.
The second scenario was a servant. The interns quickly separated the couple, after learning that the husband had given the wife a black eye, but as the interns went to arrest the husband, the wife pulled a knife from the kitchen drawer and walked over. directed at the husband and the intern.
In this scenario, some trainees used their weapon, due to an imminent threat not only to the subject, but also to the trainee.
The third scenario involved another suspicious person, who searched vehicles at night, claiming he was just looking for his car.
As the trainees began to question the man, he began to provide false information and it was later learned that he had a gun in his belt.
While some trainees believed that no crime had been committed, due to the fact that no one could prove that he had broken into their vehicle, others had apprehensions because of the false information, despite the fact that ” the man” claimed he had a license.
The fourth scenario was a routine traffic stop for an extinguished tail light. The problem was that the subject refused to roll down his window and had a dark tint, so the trainee could not see what he was doing with his hands at the time.
Most trainees were able to defuse the situation, get the license and allow the driver to continue with their day, after providing them with a citation.
The final storyline involved another sanity-related call that many officers and deputies could relate to.
Two men were playing basketball, when a car with loud music passed, triggering PTSD in one of the players.
Some trainees took advantage of this scenario to talk about their own experience with the subject, while offering help and defusing the situation.
During each scenario, the trainees receive feedback from their peers, and the trainees also share what they think they should have done differently after completing the scenario.
SRTC Police Chief Bubba Spooner, who helped facilitate the classes, said the feedback helps them (chiefs) see if there are any significant gaps they need to look into.
“We do it earlier in the year, so if we see something that an officer or a group of officers needs to train more in, we can focus on that,” he said.
Spooner explained that most of these scenarios were taken from previous courses the instructors had taken, but were modified to fit our specific area.
“We went through the scenarios and said it would work, but it won’t work and we gave other options,” he said. “There was probably 20 hours of planning before today.”
Classes will resume Thursday morning as more trainees continue to examine use of force and de-escalation tactics.