Congress passed the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022 to develop and fund police de-escalation training courses for law enforcement departments across the country. The bill was recently approved in December 2022, and will help the Department of Justice (DOJ) create safer means for police to interact with citizens and communicate with local police departments.
According to Congress:
“This act directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop scenario-based training curricula (or identify existing curricula) that includes topics such as alternatives to the use of force, de-escalation tactics, and safely responding to an individual experiencing a mental, behavioral health, or suicidal crisis. The act also directs DOJ to make grants to states for costs associated with providing the training to law enforcement officers or mental health professionals.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a co-sponsor of the bill, the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022 will:
- Require the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to develop curricula in the training topics, or identify existing curricula, in consultation with law enforcement, mental health organizations, family advocacy organizations, and civil rights and civil liberties groups, among other stakeholders.
- Authorize $124 million in grant funding over four years for training, including scenario-based exercises, and evaluative assessments.
- Require the National Institute of Justice and the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation training to ensure that the curricula have a tangible impact on law enforcement encounters with people in crisis, and identify possible changes that would further improve outcomes.
The Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022 is intended to help decrease the number of fatal interactions involving mental illness by providing better training on how to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. According to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), co-author of the bill, this law “will ensure that police officers have the right training for life-saving crisis intervention and de-escalation, and the resources to connect people in crisis with the help they need.”
To read more about the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Training Act of 2022, see this page on congress.gov.
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