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Congresswoman Proposes National Standard for De-escalation Training and Use of Force

May 13, 2016  | 

Legislation set to be introduced to Congress on Thursday would create a new national standard for when police officers can use deadly force and require police academies to teach officers de-escalation techniques.

The bill, called the Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2016, is authored by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), who has been among the most outspoken members of Congress in calling for federal action to reform police tactics.

“We want our officers using force really that [is] proportional to the situation,” Moore said in an interview on Wednesday. “This is about giving police officers additional training assets with regard to encounters that don’t necessarily have to end up with a use of deadly force.”

Moore’s proposal targets police training and would require U.S. police officers to be trained in non-lethal force, to go through crisis intervention training to help them deal with the mentally ill, and to use the lowest level of force possible when responding to a threat. If passed, local police departments would have one year to comply with the new training standards or would face reductions in federal grant money.

“Nobody wants to see a police officer second guess a situation where they themselves will be murdered or maimed,” Moore told the Washington Post. “But I feel there is a huge chasm between officers who claim that they fear for their life and the actual facts of life and how they could have de-escalated these situations.”

Those standards are drawn from a recent report by the Police Executive Research Forum, an influential Washington-based policing-policy think tank.

Comments (39)

Displaying 1 - 39 of 39

Clay @ 5/13/2016 7:36 PM

It does seem like the "I feared for my life" statement is a get out of jail free card.

JT @ 5/14/2016 8:07 AM

Here we go again...another leftist who thinks its law enforcements fault for all use of force situations when it's the suspect that forces our hand. She has apparently swallowed the PERF kool-aid like many today.

Salty @ 5/14/2016 8:11 AM

And the bad guys and terrorists laughed and laughed and laughed.......

DD16 @ 5/14/2016 8:21 AM

Yup, another lefty. How about this idea, lets have these dirt bags stop committing crime and there would be no use of force. When we add the Human factor to any dynamic situation there's always the chance for force to become excessive. Cops do not know what the bad guy is going to do or what they are willing to do but the bad guy knows. Cops need to think worst case scenario and respond that way. Hey, another great idea, "Stop Resisting".

CB @ 5/14/2016 8:22 AM

You have a politician that has never had a real job, now telling police how to do their job. Next thing you know, this idiot will want to tell doctors when to perform surgery......wait.. already trying that with Obamacare and that is working out great. Everything that has screwed this country up is due to an attorney or politician.

OneLeft @ 5/14/2016 8:45 AM

If implemented, a "minimal force possible" law would mean anyone that police used force on would almost automatically win a use of force lawsuit on the grounds that the officer could always have used less force...even if the officer acted reasonably. So even if an officer wasn't charged criminally for violating a "minimum force possible law", the suspects would win in civil court every time. We've already seen this applied to the Force Continuum concept that many departments used to have as use of force policy. If this legislator gets her way, the consequences will be bad for law and order and good for decadent chaos.

CML @ 5/14/2016 8:51 AM

What a novel idea. This must be the first time anyone has given any thought to non-lethal police encounters!
What an idiot! I love that civilian "politicians" with no sense of what law enforcement training already consists of and encompasses, wish to create more training and regulations (under threat of losing funding). Why doesn't this imbecile go through police training to see what it involves before making suggestions (threats), that she obviously knows nothing about.

CML @ 5/14/2016 8:51 AM

What a novel idea. This must be the first time anyone has given any thought to non-lethal police encounters!
What an idiot! I love that civilian "politicians" with no sense of what law enforcement training already consists of and encompasses, wish to create more training and regulations (under threat of losing funding). Why doesn't this imbecile go through police training to see what it involves before making suggestions (threats), that she obviously knows nothing about.

Nick @ 5/14/2016 8:57 AM

Another legislator who knows nothing about current police training and its requirements (all of that is being done now). Another politician who seeks the national spotlight as if she stumbled into something no one knows about!

Ronald Cole @ 5/14/2016 9:00 AM

We could call a national police by the name Gestapo.

Ronald Cole @ 5/14/2016 9:01 AM

We could call it Gestapo

Capt512 @ 5/14/2016 9:04 AM

Let her don a badge and uniform and do a weeks worth of ride alongs in a hot neighborhood and see if she still feels that way. Better yet put her in front of a simulator and see how long it takes her to hesitate and be killed.

830.1PC RETIRED @ 5/14/2016 9:05 AM

I had my first Badge Pinned on my Chest in 1985. Defensive Tactics Instructor, FTO, Range Master, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant and ultimately Chief. We are losing "OUR COUNTRY" One Small Piece at a time. Check out Ms. Moores biography, especially the names she chose for her children. IF YOU THINK OUR CURRENT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE TIMID AND SCARED OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM IF THEY DO THEIR JOBS, THEN STAND BACK BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO GET A HELL OF A LOT WORSE FOR OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND THE CRIMINALS ARE GOING TO GO WILD. Do your job within established department rules and regulations and be prepared to be sued. Every Officer Contact will result in a Federal Civil Rights Trial the Officers and Departments will never win.

kevcopAz @ 5/14/2016 9:13 AM

Thanks "Ms. Congresswoman" Perhaps you should fix your own house first. I "feel" that the congress needs more rules ..I "feel" that I should make the rules for you since I have zero experience as a congressperson and have zero idea what you do, why you do it yet if you "feel" you can force rules on folks this way, then I ":feel" that I have the same right. Im so sick of "feel" being the new test for things. I "feel" unsafe I "feel" I was harmed I "feel" offended". Grow up folks, feeling do not make reality. Im sure everyone noticed that the was a "D" after her name, what a surprise.

Steve La Marca @ 5/14/2016 9:16 AM

Ummmmmm .... No

Jager @ 5/14/2016 9:29 AM

"use the lowest level of force possible when responding to a threat"? Why even allow that much? How about if an officer is met with any resistance at all, he must turn tail and run away! Then everyone will be happy, accept for the victims of the criminal.

kevcopAz @ 5/14/2016 9:52 AM

Great idea Jager this may just work! Im sure all good cops agree (yeah right) we LEOs can just be "good witnesses" to the criminal event since no crime is worth a person (criminal) losing their life over. Perhaps if we stop enforcing laws alltogehtor then the in born human kindness of people will kick in and crime will stop. If we as cops don't cause violence as we have in the past by enforcing the rules that society makes. No wonder why the U.S. is in the straights that its in with people like this Congresswomen and her co-horts. Sadly it does seem that to be a cop today and keep your job and avoid being criminally charged we cops have to Serve and Protect" by serving our own interests by protecting our own butts!

Kevin @ 5/14/2016 10:02 AM

I understand there are incidents that occur that may be solved by means other than the amount of force that was chosen in the moment. That being said, I challenge anyone who feels Law Enforcement as a whole (even in a substantial size of the minority) is heavy-handed when choosing the force level to protect themselves to step up, attend a citizen's police academy, and/or go through use-of-force training to see what the average officer is facing. There are several documented incidents where community activists have complained about the police using too much force, only to use as much or more than the officer did when faced with the same situation. Statements made by the activists include things like I didn't realize that was what is was like, or I felt threatened by him even though he didn't have a gun. We as LE professionals should always strive to improve our profession, but what we need is factual data on which to make decisions, not emotion or flawed information.

Jerry @ 5/14/2016 10:49 AM

Maybe you could start by having the President sign an executive order taking away less lethal launchers. The military called them "grenade" launchers, but they were used by PDs as less lethal. Oh, sorry, never mind, he already did it.

Federali @ 5/14/2016 11:04 AM

Sounds like the standard Use-of-Force Ladder to me...... with added training on how to deal with EDP's. The problem is the 20/20 hindsight after the fact. We don't know at the time that the person was unarmed and not a threat. Are we supposed to wait until rounds are flying before we can shoot? While I truly appreciate sarcasm, I think some of that in kevcopAZ's post is lost. I think most of us really could make congress better if we had the power to enact "rules" for them (just using the common sense they lack, and yes, while "feelings" are nice, there's way too much power given into giving in to them). Most politicians are so into getting and keeping power they don't see how wrong some of the things they do are. They just think they're smarter than everyone else and can legislate on things they know nothing about. Like I said else where, the people will get out of the police, whatever the politicians the people elect want. Hopefully they'll change course soon. In the meantime, do what you have to to stay safe!

Henry @ 5/14/2016 11:26 AM

If it is truly lowest level and not necessary, there will be innocent people killed.

Capt. Crunch @ 5/14/2016 11:35 AM

The congresswoman speaks as though it is the police fault for the violence instead of re-training the police congress should educate these problem offenders . Pretty soon they will take firearms away from the police and have the police carry Teddy Bears instead of better equipment to protect themselves.

Ray @ 5/14/2016 11:39 AM

You mean for the last 4.5 decades I was using only the force necessary to accomplish the arrest and this Honorable Congressperson now thinks I need to be taught that all over again? She is going to make me change my daughter's name and take back all the firearms training I gave my my daughter, along with her name "Gwen". Thank God my dughter is smarter and a USA Capt and a Conservative.

HRPufnstuf @ 5/14/2016 12:01 PM

"a new national standard for when police officers can use deadly force"
Of course, 99% of the police already use as little force as they reasonably believe, at the time, is necessary, and the other 1% aren't going to do anything different despite any new training.

Question: is her "new national standard" going to trump the Supreme Court, which as ALREADY ruled on what is reasonable force?

Of course, with her cushy job, immediate lifetime retirement benefits after just one term, don't have to pay into or use Social Security, and all the hundreds of other perks that Congress members have voted themselves, but for none of the little people, I'm sure she's in a position to tell us all what's best for everyone - except them! Isn't that what Congress does?

Bill411 @ 5/14/2016 12:33 PM

Tell you what Congresswoman, when you actually start doing YOUR job, then maybe you can worry about us doing ours. I guarantee that in over 20 years of being a cop, 18 on a tactical team, I know how to do my job without the uneducated input from some moron looking to make headlines or get re-elected

LEO (RET) @ 5/14/2016 2:34 PM

Last night, I felt honored to watch the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil via live stream over the internet, remembering and honoring the 252 Law Enforcement Officers whose names were engraved on the Memorial this year. Very somber, yet very beautiful to see so many LEOs, their families and surviving family members in attendance. God willing, I definitely plan on attending this ceremony in Washington, DC before the Lord calls me home. If this bogus law does pass, I'm very afraid that many more names of brave LEOs will be added to this Memorial. All, please do whatever you have to do to Stay Alert, Stay Safe, Stay Alive. It was so different when I was on the job in my 38 years. I pray for all LEOs daily. I will forever keep you all in my prayers. I love you all. God Bless you Big Blue.

Tom Ret @ 5/14/2016 3:30 PM

Idiots like Moore have no sense as to what dangers officers face on the street. Laws enacted by legislators who act solely on theory with no actual police experience, is a recipe for the effectiveness of law enforcement to decline as the officers see less and less reason to get involved or put their butts on the line for an unappreciative public. If the public wants to keep putting unnecessary burdens and worries on the officers, they shouldn't then be surprised when crime goes up as the cops are hanging out at the station or agencies run short because they can't fill vacancies. Teachers are also seeing the impact of these liberal ideas as lawlessness increases in their classrooms due to their lack of control because of their fear of litigation or offending someone. I can only hope that these morons like Moore become a victim themselves when the cops are no where to be found or don't act in time because they are checking their use of force checklist.

Ret. Tpr. @ 5/14/2016 5:29 PM

How about a enforcement take the de-escalation training when and only when law makers do their job RIGHT and take the loopholes out of the laws. Of course the slimball attorneys won't make as much money, but the country will get back to where it used to be!

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 5/14/2016 10:02 PM

Brunch, (or percy), De-escelation is a great thing, when it's possible. Unfortunately it sometimes isn't possible to de-escelate a situation. Take Darren Wilson, for example, does anyone (even a liberal) seriously think that he could have calmed brown down? In many situations, everything happens too fast to talk the suspect into surrendering peacefully. As for your example of "police brutality", taking the suspect down and handcuffing them is NOT brutality.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 5/14/2016 10:38 PM

By the way, I believe some of my comments were deleted because I'm being now mistaken for percy. My above comment is from the real SES.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 5/14/2016 10:59 PM

Percy, Darren Wilson had no time to "de-escelate" the situation he was in. It happens all the time, where you have to make a split second decision to either shoot or hold your fire and take a chance, which is stupid. Research you "example" some more. But, the truth doesn't matter to retards like you, so I'm wasting my time.

DaveM55 @ 5/16/2016 1:24 AM

The person who can most make De-escalation work is not the officer but the member you contacted. You can try to slow things good cover but compliance with commands seems to be a thing of the past in many cases I have seen. And remember both parties are going to have SNS however if you add SNS and drugs, alcohol, mental illness you are going to have cause and affect you have little control over Ms Moore.

tom @ 5/16/2016 5:19 AM

Capt512, my thoughts exactly. You can't walk someone else's walk, without putting on their shoes.

AZBIGDOG @ 5/16/2016 8:35 AM

So a worthless politician that has never been in a life or death situation, other than maybe not knowing if she wanted two shots of mocha in her espresso or not, feels qualified to say anything about the use of force. That "huge chasm" she is talking about is her brain. A law that says you must use the least force possible? One, they have that already and it is working as well as any law that will continue to be second guessed by a bunch of idiotic attorneys wearing dresses for their appearance on a bench. How about this, officers and their heirs and families will be entitled to sue any and all who put their name to the law when, not if because it will happen, an officer is killed or injured because his common sense and the circumstances at that moment, slowed his reaction time due to worry about the person refusing to drop a knife or put down a gun. Oh and for the druggie's using the drugs authorized by the same useless politicians, needing to be tased due to fighting with 3-4 officers and winning, suddenly dying due to the damage to his heart and other parts that were weakened or destroyed by the drugs, and the families suing officers because they did not use what some stupid politician putting himself up as God and deciding ahead of time what force is necessary to affect an arrest. Bunch of stooges.

Bucko @ 5/17/2016 8:47 AM

This is right in line with the White House policy of running military ops from Pennsylvania Ave. We all see how well that is working. Eight more years of this "political correctness" BS, and English will not be the primary language in the USA.

SD @ 5/20/2016 8:37 AM

Another stupid politician telling REAL police officers how to do their job when she doesn't even know how to do it!!!!!! When you have actual police officer street experience, then you can speak!!!

D. Watson @ 5/20/2016 10:02 AM

I agree with her, and have a solution. Minivans.
We trade in all cop cars, and start driving pastel colored minivans. An unarmed police officer will drive the van. With him will be an ACLU approved atty, a member of Black Lives Matter or NAACP, a member of LARAZA, and an elected civilian type politician.
When dispatched to any call where violence could happen, the cop parks the "Community Service Unit" at a safe distance and remains with the unit. This way he will not escalate the situation. The lawyer, minority rep, and politicians will deploy, also unarmed, and safely handle the situation, thereby minimizing loss of innocent life, or using excessive force to resolve the problem. The lawyer will be on hand to represent the alleged offender, and issue a court date on the spot if necessary. The minority rep will be on scene to monitor and possible race issues. The politician will be on hand to calmly handle the response to any violent encounter. No arrests will be necessary.
Once the issue is resolved in the correct, and non-violent, manner; they will load up and the cop will take them for a latte and war story session until the next call.
No more cops put in harms way, and those who know how to do it better can take over. Should any of the "Community Service Representitives" be killed or wounded by some accident, no valuable loss of life.
Who is with me on this?

timbo @ 5/22/2016 11:46 AM

Here's a better idea: How about telling Obama to quit letting tens of thousands of prisoners out of jail. And don't think for one minute that she is ONLY talking about white police officers and black criminals. Perhaps she should go to listen to any Al Sharpton speech where he leads his followers with "Death to pigs" and "kill all the crackers". I haven't looked at her resume but does she have any background in criminology? Probably not, just another loony left with idiot ideas. Hey Gwen, why stop at nationalizing the police force, put the United Nations in charge and have a World police Force?
Anyone think Obama is done yet with letting criminals out of jail? Heck no, and just wait until you see how felons get pardoned when he leaves in 243 more days, recall that Clinton pardoned, on his last day in office which he now says "wasn't right", about 165 coke dealers, and tax scofflaws and neer-do-wells.

ssc1911 @ 5/26/2016 1:18 PM

Congresswoman Moore either fails to realize or ignores the fact that the perps normally escalate the situation by not complying with the officers commands.
Apparently she has never been in law enforcement and really understand what a police has to deal with and there isn't much time in situation where force needs to be used against a perp. This is more of an issue with each state depending on their laws regarding use of force and what amount or level of force can be used law enforcement officers in the course of doing their jobs .Each use of force situation is different, mostly it's the perps not following an officer's commands. A letter writing campaign against this proposed law to her offices could be a start.

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