Lawful Use of Force is Deescalation.


The use of lawful and appropriate force by law enforcement is deescalation.

Deescalation is a buzzword in popular social circles and the media. It’s over dramatized portrayal as the magical solution to most issues has socially morphed it into something it is not. People demand deescalation training for cops without knowing what deescalation actually is.

Deescalation is not hug-a-thug, and it is also not strictly verbal communication skills, nor is it negotiation. Deescalation is the core of law enforcement interaction at the most basic level. Deescalation is using influence (from verbal to physical to deadly) to reduce the severity of an incident or active action. It can be talking to someone, which in turn calms them down. I use my ability to communicate to calm emotional people on traffic stops, domestics, etc. I use handcuffs and empty-handed fighting techniques to lessen the potential for additional violence or potential violence from an aggressor. I use my taser (when it works) to temporarily incapacitate a nondeadly threat so we may take better control of them. Lawfully shooting an active threat, rendering the threat neutral is deescalation.

The use of lawful and appropriate force is deescalation. Swift use of appropriate force can stop an incident from going critical. In law enforcement, deescalation is a concept used daily that doesn’t need special attention or focus. I will now repeat that first line; the use of lawful and appropriate force is deescalation.


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