New Bill Would Require Police Learn De-escalation Techniques or Lose Federal Funding

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) introduces the "Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act."



A newly proposed bill in the House of Representatives would deprive police departments of federal funds if they do not provide mandatory training of de-escalation techniques and require the use of such techniques afterward. 

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) introduced the Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act last Thursday, which she told The Guardian was inspired by the recent efforts of that outlet and others in creating databases which attempt to count each and every incident where police have deployed deadly force on citizens. 

Moore's bill, which has little chance of surviving the Republican-controlled House, would penalize non-compliant PDs of 20 percent of their annual funding from the Department of Justice's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which doles out about $280 million a year to local police departments. 

According to The Guardian:

Surveys by the Police Executive Research Foundation (PERF) have found the average police cadet received 58 hours of training on using guns, 49 hours on defensive tactics, and only eight hours on de-escalation. Moore based her proposal on a report by PERF published earlier this year, which set out a series of "guiding principles on use of force".

Among the techniques Moore's bill requires:

  • the use of alternative non-lethal methods of applying force and techniques that prevent the officer from escalating any situation where force is likely to be used;
  • verbal and physical tactics to minimize the need for the use of force, with an emphasis on communication, negotiation, de-escalation techniques, providing the time needed to resolve the incident safely for everyone;
  • the use of the lowest level of force that is a possible and safe response to an identified threat, then re-evaluating the threat as it progresses;
  • techniques that provide all officers with awareness and recognition of mental health and substance abuse issues with an emphasis on communication strategies, training officers simultaneously in teams on de-escalation and use of force to improve group dynamics and diminish excessive use of force during critical incidents

De-escalation training has met with some success in places like Seattle, but police unions such as Los Angeles' have forcefully pushed back on the very concept as potentially deadly for officers, who they claim would be put in a "no-win situation" if officers were required to consider not using force in a volatile situation.

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  1. “STOP RESISTING!” doesn’t count?

    1. Yep. The part that seems to be missing is De-escalation Technique #1: Remind the cops that there isn’t actually a war against them and that they are virtually certain to go home safely tonight.

  2. “De-escalate”? What fun is there in that?

  3. So we are still playing the “lack of training” game, eh?

    The police already know how to not shoot unarmed/fleeing people, they just choose not to.

    1. Goddammit, why didn’t anyone ever TELL me I don’t have to shoot every person/dog I encounter?

  4. a “no-win situation” if officers were required to consider not using force in a volatile situation.

    Make every situation volatile so that we have to use force.


  5. PTBPCA? No catchy acronym? What is this townhall night in Pigwallow IN?

    1. “Ptbca” is the sound a perp makes when they get cold-cocked in the throat by a Brother In Blue while doing something volatile and threatening, like sitting on the sidewalk!

    2. That was my first thought – this bill is doomed if you don’t name it the Tamir Rice Law or at least something jinglier than the Petrabepoco Act. That sounds like the name of a Brazilian copper mining conglomerate or something. Woohoo! Petrabepoco just announced a three-for-two stock split and it’s up fourteen and a quarter!

  6. All this training and re-training is confusing them!11!1!!

  7. This seems like a case of passing just one more law to fix everything. It does nothing to address the reasons so many people come into contact with thug cops in the first place, but it sure feels good.

    1. Exactly so. If we’re expecting a government solution to this problem, we’ve got deeper problems than cops breaking the law.

    2. The laws against assault and murder should be sufficient. Just scale back the immunity they get.

      1. Not as long as there’s unions.

    1. Sorry, Brownsville.

      Turns out the dad and daughter were having sex and invited the neighborhood kids to join in.

      Paging Crusty.

    2. The teens accused ? ages 14, 15, 15, 17 and 17 ? were originally charged as adults, each with one count of rape, two counts of criminal sex act, and one count of sex abuse.

      “It is my fervent hope that this young woman gets all the support that she needs going forward. My office, including our victim advocates who have been working with this young woman, stand ready to provide her with any assistance she may need,” Thompson said.

      But no sex crime for statutorily raping three minors?

      1. Three black minors. It’s totally different.

      2. The authorities want to forget the incident ever happened, because it doesn’t fit with the narrative.

        1. I’m just struggling to wrap my mind around the thought of a man whose rape accusation by fourteen-year-old is later recanted having all charges dropped with the promise by the DA to support him in any way possible

          1. (I realize that’s not precisely analogous, but the idea of a man reporting a rape by a fourteen-year-old girl is on its face laughable even without the double standard.)

            1. The boy was 14. The girl was 18. The man who reported the rape was that girl’s father, and also having sex with her.

              1. I know. Whatever the extenuating circumstances, the opposite case would result in sex crime charges, full stop.

      3. Speaking of rapes that did not occur:

        1. Looks like this particular article left out the important fact that the Haven Monohan email account was accessed by Jackie’s attorneys in March of this year.

          1. You know who else operated a clandestine email to further a criminal undertaking…

            1. Arthur Alan Wolk?

            2. Robert Redford?

          2. It also left Sabrina Rubin Erdely out of the headline, which is a mistake.

  8. Reminds me of something I was watching where a cop was being interviewed, and was asked a question about the use of force being proportional to what they encounter. The cop thought the concept was hilarious. He basically said that they are explicitly trained to escalate force. You know, to show the peasants who is boss. And of course to open the opportunity to do what every cop dreams of doing, which is to kill someone.

  9. What the heck is a PTBPCA?

    1. Bill the Cat’s comment on the movie Armageddon.

      1. thank you for framing your response in a speech bubble.

  10. Right, more central control is the answer!

    1. Yeah, don’t want to let the not-so-awful be the enemy of the it’s-hardly-any-better, but you’ll have to remind me again – why is my local police department getting one thin dime from the federal government to begin with?

  11. This will provide more opportunities to get people into treatment, where they can discover and admit that they commit crimes because they are ‘mentally ill’. And be relieved, because “treatment is available” if society will just “overcome the stigma”.

    1. The fuck are you talking about?

      1. Cops be crazy? I don’t know.

      2. It is important for him to insert his obsession into every discussion so that his opinions lose even more of their already minuscule value. Also, it is fun to flog a horse’s corpse over and over and over and over and over again.

    2. There’s a stigma against not shooting people?

      1. Well, among their fellow cops there is. How are they going to brag about anything if they don’t get to shoot the proles?

        1. I’ve listened to drunk cops brag to each other, and they have things other than shooting people to brag about. Choking people seems to be one of their favorites, closely followed by holding a gun to someone’s head and screaming at them until they soil themselves. I wish I was making this up.

      2. You get extra points for shooting people with stigmata. Extra extra points if they had the stigmata before you shot ’em.

  12. they claim would be put in a “no-win situation” if officers were required to consider not using force in a volatile situation

    “Not using force” should be the default approach, slaver

    1. In a just world, making a claim like that would be grounds for termination of the police rep for being unfit for duty.

  13. Somewhat on-topic: the left’s inconsistent stance on interdictive policing.

    One underappreciated aspect of stop-and-frisk is that it is a gun-control measure?the right kind of gun-control measure. Unlike those in Chicago, New York authorities prosecute gun cases aggressively: Get caught carrying a gun illegally in New York and you will go to jail for two years. Part of the intention behind stop-and-frisk was raising the price of carrying a gun illegally in New York. And while it would be a gross oversimplification to credit a single policy innovation with New York City’s dramatic reduction in crime (and especially in violent street crime), stop-and-frisk was part of an aggressive set of police practices that does seem to constitute “what works,” as our progressive friends like to put it.

    1. This is different because guns.

    2. Since when has the left been consistent with anything? It’s all about whatever they feel at any particular moment.

    3. Link no worky.

  14. RE: New Bill Would Require Police Learn De-escalation Techniques or Lose Federal Funding
    Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) introduces the “Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act.”

    Here’s an idea.
    Why don’t neighborhoods hire their own police, train them and make the police officers answerable to the local community? This way they won’t need taxpayer’s money from around the country.
    Oh, that’s right.
    That makes sense.
    We can’t have that.

  15. How about de-legislation training for legislatures? Stop giving cops excuses to rough people up.

  16. I like local control better because it’s easier to move to a place with a less stupid government.

    Perhaps that’s why federal taxes are so much higher and they have all that extra money to throw around such as by giving it right back to localities to fund stuff twice, but this time with extra strings attached to appease the sensibilities of SJW’s living 2000 miles away.

    But hey, if a bad system does something good once in a while we can cheer. Then go back to griping about all the other stupid shit they force on us.

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  18. Let them operate without Federal funding.
    In fact, let all lower levels of government fund themselves as the Federal Government does not have excess funds that it can spread around since it needs to start thinking about paying its debts.

  19. PTBPCA. catchy!

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