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How de-escalation tactics have changed for police officers in training

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DULUTH, MN-- From the use of force to de-escalation techniques, this kind of has training has changed since a fatal police shooting in Ferguson Missouri.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken says building trust in the community was the catalyst to changing how officers and new recruits were trained to de-escalate situations.

Changes that were first put into motion in 2016.

This came after a policing study done by the Obama Administration, to help modify their training.

Training officers to handle situations without resorting to the use of force comes down to what's known as 'soft skills', according to Tusken.


"It is everything from the cadence of your voice, to the distancing, to showing empathy, to having people have a voice to be heard."

Tusken says the use of training helps de-escalate situations, similar to the protest that happened earlier this week in Minneapolis.

"The officers got surrounded and people were angry. And so the longer that they were there and the understanding that they showed and the compassion, and empathy," said Tusken. "I think that that was an incident that could've perhaps escalated."

Tusken says training is ongoing for officers in his department and they must have yearly mental health checks.

He also says it's critical officers put aside any biases.

"Be aware of your biases, be aware of how you show up, and how you treat people," said Tusken.

De-escalation tactics limiting the use of force while continuing to build trust with the community.

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Emma Quinn

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