Finally! A De-escalation Training Solution for Police Officers That is Convenient, Affordable, and Effective

Derek Collins, M.Ed., founder of The Diversion Center, has created a new online de-escalation training program for police officers nationwide

Style Magazine Newswire | 11/14/2016, 3:58 p.m.
Police departments across the nation now have a practical and affordable solution for de-escalation training. The Diversion Center offers a ...
Derek Collins, and the cover of his workbook training program

Atlanta, GA — Police departments across the nation now have a practical and affordable solution for de-escalation training. The Diversion Center offers a 4-hour online de-escalation training that police officers can complete without taking time off or leaving their department. Budget cuts and diminished training funds will no longer be an excuse because the Diversion Center has created a de-escalation training that is affordable.

Police departments will be able conveniently and effectively provide an online de-escalation training that costs $100 dollars per police officer. Compare this to the cost of paying millions dollars for excessive and deadly force settlements. With hostile and sometimes deadly interactions between citizens and officers capturing headlines, this kind of training is critically necessary. Police departments can learn more about this program – and purchase it for their officers – at www.thediversioncenter.com/de-escalation-training-for-police-officers.html.

“Police officers have an extraordinarily difficult job,” says the Diversion Center’s training facilitator Derek Collins, M.Ed., CADC-II, CAMS-III, CSTAS, “and they have to walk a tightrope between their duty to protect and serve, and their instinct for self-preservation. High-tension situations that can happen at any moment really put officers to the test.”

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De-escalation Training For Police Officers

Police officers have a tough job. A job that is stressful, volatile, and inherently dangerous. You must protect the safety and well-being of the public while also ensuring your own safety. You, as well as other members of law enforcement, often face challenging situations where you find yourself in conflict with those whom you have sworn to protect. Failure to manage these stressful and anger-provoking interactions efficiently may place you at risk for impulsive and overly aggressive behavior. Having the wrong perception can affect your judgment and lead to incidents that cannot be reversed. It is our desire to protect you from incidents that may tarnish your reputation. Proper management of these situations requires self-awareness of one’s own triggers and behaviors as well as the necessary skills and techniques to de-escalate and resolve conflict. To safeguard the mental and physical health of officers, the physical well-being of the public, this training was created. Curriculum Objectives Understand the process of anger and how it affects an officer’s judgment Know the difference between fear and danger Increase cultural sensitivity and respect Understand how excessive force can put your career, freedom, and life at risk Know how adverse childhood experiences can influence judgment Manage and control responses to anger Change perceptions, values, thought management, and conditioning Reduce emotional hijacking Learn how to use emotional intelligence and de-escalation techniques Increase self-awareness, social skills, and preventative strategies Our training is unique because it focuses on the mental health of the officer and the public. We also provide anger management, crisis intervention, and de-escalation strategies. We show how PTSD and Adverse Childhood Experiences can influence an officer's perception and judgment while providing thought management techniques to improve and officer's outlook. Mr. Collins provides training on cultural sensitivity and explains the difference between danger and fear. He also provides work-related examples of how officers can de-escalate situations with those who are mentally ill. Police officers will learn mood management techniques and understand the importance of developing emotional intelligence. Respect, accountability, and ethical decision making will be reviewed, as well as the consequences of excessive and deadly force. De-escalating Conflicts Online Training (4 hours) ​Training Fee: $100 per officer For more information email Cindy Han at chan@thediversioncenter.com or call 404-552-3572

Collins has found himself on both sides of the criminal justice system, which gives him a unique perspective on the phenomenon of police encounters gone wrong. He has worked as a correctional officer, educator and now counselor. As a young African American man, he can broach sensitive topics that standard police training may not cover. Today, Collins teaches court-mandated shoplifting, anger management, substance abuse and domestic violence classes. He also provides an anger management certification training and a shoplifting certification training for those that want to facilitate groups to offenders. All of the curricula offered by the Diversion Center are based on solid concepts like cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and emotional intelligence.

“We teach police officers how to de-escalate someone who is going through a mental health or emotional crisis, and teach officers the difference between danger and fear,” he adds. “Police officers cannot let fear, anger, or bias dictate their actions – that’s how tragedies happen.” De-escalation can be achieved with patience, empathy, and the understanding human behavior.”

High-profile incidents of police misconduct, excessive force and bad judgment have been all over the news media lately. According to the Times-Picayune (New Orleans), legal fees and settlements paid by the nation’s largest police departments have reached astronomical levels. Baltimore, Maryland, for example, spent $5.7 million on settlements from 2011 to 2014. More recently, the Freddie Gray case cost the city $6.4 million. Those millions of dollars could obviously have been better spent on improving city services. Moreover, small and mid-sized police departments could never absorb these losses. That’s why effective training from the get-go is the better solution to improving police interactions with the public.

The Diversion Center’s new de-escalation training curriculum covers the following objectives:

  • Learn to de-escalate when a subject is experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Remove the negative thought process of Symbolic Opponent Syndrome.

  • Increase cultural sensitivity, empathy and respect.

  • Understand how excessive force can jeopardize careers and lives.

  • Learn how trauma and unresolved issues can influence judgment.

  • Develop new tools for managing one’s response to anger.

  • Change perceptions, prejudices, values, thought management and social conditioning.

  • Increase self-awareness and social skills, and learn preventative strategies to avoid escalations entirely.

  • Understand the difference between fear and danger.

The Diversion Center recently launched its live and online de-escalation training program and has gained interest from numerous police departments locally and abroad. According to AJC.com, Georgia has recently committed to require four additional hours of annual training for Georgia’s 57,000 sworn officers and expand a program focusing on mental health crises. Other states are also following suite to increase their crisis intervention and de-escalation training efforts. With the overhaul of new training initiatives, police officials struggle to balance training with duty. The Diversion Center offers a solution to this problem and ultimately, reduces the burden on the criminal justice system and help police officers become more effective public servants.