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De-Escalation Training

Why Offer De-Escalation Training?
The environment of policing has become increasingly dangerous and complex due a variety of factors, including untreated mental illness, addiction disease, and the breakdown of community institutions. Additional training in de-escalation and less lethal tools are necessary to reduce deadly police encounters, save lives, and improve public trust and confidence in the police.

What is De-Escalation Training?
De-Escalation training incorporates three critical principles of police tactics to give officers the best options to resolve dangerous situations – time, distance, and shielding.  When officers are far enough away from a person armed with a deadly object to avoid injury, can take cover from potential gunfire, and have time to verbally engage, they have the opportunity to diffuse and change the trajectory of a volatile situation.  Effective de-escalation requires not only effective patrol tactics, but also knowledge about mental illness, communication techniques, and human psychology.

Who Has the Authority to Create and Deliver This Training?
Since 1974 the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, comprised of 14 Governor appointed Commissioners, has had the authority to establish standards and provide training to peace officers and other criminal justice professionals.  The Commission provides 720 hours of mandated basic training to every police officer in the state, which includes de-escalation and crisis intervention training.  Now, the Commission is developing enhanced de-escalation and less lethal alternatives to train new officers and officers who have been in the field for any number of years.

How Will The Training Be Developed?

Community and stakeholder participation is critical to develop and deliver this important training.  The Commission will host a series of public meetings which will be live-streamed and recordings will available on our website.  Input will be solicited and accepted in person or electronically.

What Is Next?

WSCJTC has posted a web form where individuals are able to provide input electronically regarding the De-escalation Training outlined in RCW 43.101.455. This is the best method to submit comment as it consolidates information for review by WSCJTC personnel.

In addition to our web form, we will be holding two public input meetings in Washington State. The meeting details are as follows:

VIRTRA (Shoot/Don't Shoot) Simulator Experience

Thursday, February 21, 2019

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

WSCJTC – Lobby

19010 1st Avenue S.

Burien, WA 98148

Public Input Meeting

Thursday, February 21, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

WSCJTC – Auditorium

19010 1st Avenue S.

Burien, WA 98148

Before the public input meeting on Thursday, February 21st, we have a two hour reservation in WSCJTC’s new VIRTRA (Shoot/Don’t Shoot) Simulator from 4:00-6:00 PM. All are welcome to participate in experiencing this simulator. This is a great opportunity for us to explain how this type of training works.  This simulator is an interactive partner for de-escalation, active shooter, judgmental use of force, situational awareness and firearms training for law enforcement.

Public Input Meeting

Friday, March 1, 2019

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Spokane Public Library – Meeting room 1A

906 W. Main Avenue

Spokane, WA 99201

Please note that the topics of these two first public input meetings will be training requirements and first aid. Additional public meetings will be held regarding other requirements per the law. Both of these meetings will be available to view via live stream on our Facebook page. Please click here to view our Facebook page. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this matter, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Program Staff


Alex Buijs, Administrative Assistant


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Stan Conrad, Division Manager


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General Inquiries

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