VIDEO: Philly Police Training Emphasizes De-Escalation Tactics

INSTRUCTOR: See that man? See that man? He’s threatening people with a knife!

CHRIS BURY: In Philadelphia, this new police recruit is getting a taste of confronting a suspect that he may have to shoot. This training–in full protective gear–is known as a reality-based scenario.

RECRUIT: Sir, drop the knife!

CHRIS BURY: This is a lesson in defusing high-tension encounters….before they turn deadly. In Philadelphia, every officer gets 40 hours of this reality training to learn tactics other than lethal force…even when suspects are armed and dangerous.

SGT. KENNETH GILL: Is he threatening anybody right now?


SGT. KENNETH GILL: Is he killing anybody right now?


SGT. KENNETH GILL: So, do we have to turn around and jump right in there and take care of it ourselves?


CHRIS BURY: Sergeant Kenneth Gill–a police academy instructor–says the training is designed to teach police officers how to de-escalate emotionally charged confrontations.

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