Mandate all Virginia police departments to go through de-escalation training

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Did you know that Virginia has no requirement for officers in their police departments to undergo de-escalation training?

De-escalation training teaches officers to slow down, create space, and use communication techniques to defuse a potentially dangerous situation. It trains cops to think differently when responding to a call. Instead of using force, they might change their words and body language to help calm the person down.

As stated previously, Virginia officers are not required to be trained on de-escalation tactics. This creates an overarching danger to our communities, as officers may use unnecessary force on individuals.

According to Campaign Zero’s “Police Use of Force Analysis," it was found that police departments that require de-escalation training have 15% fewer police killings. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that there are between 930-1240 police killings per year.

With the implementation of de-escalation training, the number of police killings would be reduced to about 790-1054 police killings per year. That’s a significant difference. A year after the Dallas Police Department instituted de-escalation training, they saw an 18% drop in use of force. Since 2010, excessive force complaints have dropped by 83%, a positive change for the community.

Only 44 of the 100 largest cities require to de-escalate situations before using force. Only 12 states across the nation require de-escalation training for all officers and Virginia is not one of them.

If you would like Virginia to join these 12 states, sign this petition. Virginia must require this training without additional funding. It is not only beneficial but imperative to civilian’s safety.