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Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Brian Willis is a retired officer, trainer and author who now serves as deputy executive director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
Training

Verbal De-Escalation

Electronic security equipment, weapons and emergency preparedness drills aren't the only campus security tools.

January 11, 2013  |  by Robin Hattersley Gray

As the details about Thursday's Taft Union High School Shooting are coming to light, we're learning that two brave school staff members, teacher Ryan Heber and school counselor Kim Lee Field, were able to distract the shooter long enough so that the rest of the students in Heber's class could escape the room unharmed. Heber and Field were then able to convince the suspect to hand over his weapon.

I don't know if either of these individuals have ever received any type of training on how to verbally de-escalate incidents, but it sure sounds like they knew what they were doing. It also helped that the alleged shooter and Heber, a popular teacher on campus, appear to have had an amicable relationship.

The Taft Union High School shooting demonstrates the importance of providing training to campus teachers, staff and public safety officers on verbal de-escalation.

Unfortunately, according Campus Safety Magazine's most recent opinion survey, a significant percentage of these individuals are not receiving enough training on workplace violence or on how to safety restrain individuals who are harming or might harm themselves or others.

University and school administrators must train all of their employees on these life-saving techniques. The following articles, which have appeared in Campus Safety over the past several years, provide some basic guidance.

Robin Hattersley Gray is the executive editor of Campus Safety Magazine, a sister publication of POLICE Magazine.

Tags: Verbal Communication, School Shootings, Reality-Based Training


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Ron Berry @ 1/18/2013 5:26 AM

I don't think any childs life has a price tag on it, so this isn't about dollars for training.
But to haave the right negotiator, in the right spot, at the right time, almost all " face to face " faculty will have to be trained. To Me, it would be worth shutting down a few days of schooll, to get the proper training out there. And stop these accidents. I know in the high school I went to, there is now 1 safety officer, in the high school. Depending on where He is located and where the incident is, it could be 4 to 5 minutes before He reaches the scene, and that is no reflection on the officer, it's a big school.
This is something We should not just throw money at, but adequately train the teachers, counselors, instructors, trainers, and principals. to the point of atleast negotiating until the law enforcement officer arrived on the scene.

Brian @ 1/22/2013 8:43 AM

The new wave of shootings are being committed by our youth. I am hearing so much about gun control, how about funding for anger management training in the schools. We only hear about the gun violence because it makes for "good news" on TV. There is a problem with all violence and it is happening at a younger age. We need to take a stand against any school violence. Arrest and hold parents accountable for the actions of their children...

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