Police Departments Begin To Reward Restraint Tactics

By ERRIN HAINES WHACK, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A few police agencies in the U.S. have begun rewarding officers for showing restraint in the line of duty, putting the tactic on par with bravery.

More than 40 Philadelphia officers have received awards since December for defusing conflicts without shooting, clubbing or otherwise using maximum force against anyone. The Los Angeles Police Department recently created a Preservation of Life award. And later this year, the U.S. Justice Department’s new Community Policing Awards will recognize officers who prevent tense situations from spinning out of control.

The awards reflect a growing emphasis on “de-escalation” in police work, a trend driven in part by the deadly shootings of blacks in such places as Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland; Chicago; and North Charleston, South Carolina. The killings have given rise to accusations of excessive force.

“An officer going home is of paramount importance to us, but everybody should have an opportunity to go home if that presents itself,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. “This is an effort to slow down situations for the sake of everybody concerned.”

Advocates say that encouraging de-escalation as part of police culture can help establish trust with the public and that such tactics can be especially useful in handling suspects …read more

Source:: Black America Web

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