Do you know who was awarded the $1,000 Bridge the Divide grand prize?

Congratulations to Rachel K. from Florida!

Read her comment below

 

Is police de-escalation training necessary to ensure that appropriate levels of force are being used?

YES

When it comes to employment, training is everything. It’s because of this that most employers require new hires to shadow a senior employee, read through online manuals, and take training courses. Whatever is learned in these courses sets the basis for how the employee will behave during work in the future. This concept, simple and universal, of course applies to police.
The problem of police brutality begins at the roots of the police officer’s employment: in training. As both the Atlantic and the Washington Post report, police are taught from the get go that they are always in danger, and that their survival depends on this constant, and in most situations, unwarranted, fear. The Atlantic goes on to describe training scenarios, many of which included suspects approaching the officers, or driving up to them, then shooting them before the trainees had a chance to react. Each of these scenarios has one clear message: hesitation can lead to death. As a result, tricks of the eye and instilled trigger fingers have led to most, if not all, of the fatal police shootings bleeding into newspapers and perforating political culture every day.
De-escalation training can fix the problem plaguing our nation, and that’s because it will teach police officers an alternative way to handle crises. An alternative way that, instead of costing states more money, will just divert current funds. An alternative way that works. No one could put it better than New Jersey Police Chief, J. Scott Thomson, whose department has already started training police officers to treat potentially dangerous situations with caution. When talking about a situation where the officers came in contact with a man brandishing, and wildly swinging, a knife, Thomson makes sure to point out that “six months before our training, we would’ve shot and killed that guy. It would have been a justifiable use of deadly force, but there was another way [we knew] to handle it.”
In a country where the police force is constitutionally defined as standing for “the betterment of the health, safety, morals and general welfare” of American people, the police seem to serve only as a group which citizens, especially African American and underprivileged youth, should be afraid of. Fortunately, by exercising their constitutional duty of “police power,” as established in the Supreme Court of Massachusetts case Commonwealth vs. Alger, as the regulation the police force’s behavior, and instating de-escalation as part of police training, states can start encouraging police officers to think with their heads, instead of with their fight or flight reflexes.
But it’s not just Massachusetts state judiciary precedent that demands de-escalation training, it’s federal law itself. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 set demands that kept employees safe on their jobs, through proper and relevant training. At the time, it was mainly meant for factory workers dealing with lethal chemicals, but can apply to anyone from construction workers operating heavy machinery, to cashiers using the industrial grade bagel slicer at Panera Bread, even to police officers brandishing guns against the populace. This legislation ensures that Police Departments all over the country have the proper training for policemen to keep themselves, as well as civilians, safe.

Current Standings:
Congrats!: 43%
Loved your answer!: 57%
  • test from Virginia

    congrats

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  • J from Pennsylvania

    Was this for or against police de-escalation.
    Thanks

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      Thanks, I honestly could not tell
      🙂

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    • Rachel from Florida

      It was for.

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  • Christian from Texas

    Excellent analysis of the topic, Rachel. You know how to defend a position logically, coherently, and briefly. I agree with your argument and conclusion. Congratulations!

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  • Jack from New York

    Good Job!

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    • Rachel from Florida

      Thank you!

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  • Joshua from Pennsylvania

    Congratulations, Rachel! Your position defense was well-reasoned, concise and logical. Good job!

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    • Rachel from Florida

      Thanks!

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