At the recent IACP Conference, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) gave a presentation on de-escalation training for police, crisis management, and how they record and analyze data to reduce the frequency and severity of use-of-force incidents.
“San Diego Countywide Approach on De-escalation and Unique Methods of Gathering Data for Analysis” highlighted the SDPD’s innovative training program, which aims to enhance officers’ de-escalation skills while promoting safety and collaboration in crisis situations. To date, the SDPD has trained 5,000 officers with this program.
The presentation raised noteworthy changes made to California law in 2023. These changes include the removal of the term “excited delirium” from legal usage, and the introduction of Assembly Bill 392 which holds law enforcement accountable.
The SDPD actively monitors approximately 4,200 use-of-force incidents each year. They analyze videos to identify situations where de-escalation could have been employed. This information is then used to train officers to minimize the use of force, especially when dealing with armed suspects who are threatening them. In addition to tracking incidents, the SDPD places great emphasis on building trust with the community by focusing on transparency and sharing the results of de-escalation training and its effectiveness.
Thank you to panelists Lieutenant Kevin Mayer, Sergeant Highhorse Little, Officer Levi Harbin from the SDPD, and Staff Officer Marla Kingkade from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for providing such rich insights into de-escalation training for police, as well as crisis management training.