Duluth Police Hold De-escalation Training

Ryan Juntti
Updated: March 12, 2019 06:06 PM

DULUTH - Every day police officers encounter potentially dangerous situations. On Tuesday, Duluth Police hosted a de-escalation training to make sure officers know how to handle these situations.

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Officers went through multiple different scenarios aimed at improving team interaction, communication with their partner, and training using their tools.

The scenarios are designed to be realistic and help them build confidence for situations they may encounter in real life.

"Hey sir. Hey police. Put the crowbar down," Duluth Police Department Sgt. Dave Drozdowski, and Officer Jill Kettleson said during a burglary scenario.  

The burglary scenario was one of nine that officers went through. They were designed to teach them how to de-escalate any potentially dangerous situations.

Some of the other scenarios simulated a robbery, a disturbance at a school with an upset parent, a domestic assault, and a suicidal man with a knife.

"The scenarios are designed to get them or to challenge them to react quickly to what they are seeing on the screen, and to see what the role player is doing, and then to react to it," said Duluth Police Department Training Unit Sgt. Joel Olejnicak.

Sgt. Olejnicak led the training which incorporates everything on an officer's tool belt. It also focuses on improving verbal skills and the ability to think.

After each scenario, the officers discussed with Olejnicak what went well, and what they could have done better.

"I think this type of training is really valuable," said Duluth Police Officer Jill Kettleson.

Officer Kettleson was one of those training. She says it gave her good reminders about communicating with her partner.

"It's a great opportunity to learn, it gives you the opportunity to try out different skills, hone different skills, get some feedback in a setting that's safe to do so," said Kettleson.

And those skills could potentially save their lives in the field.

"Situations like this or scenarios that we can design that are practical application of what they can do when they get outside, that's really what we're looking for," said Sgt. Olejnicak. 

Duluth Police hold at least one in-service training a year, but it isn't always the de-escalation training. Recently they have been trying to incorporate all of the necessary skills into the de-escalation training.

In total 152 officers will be participating in the training. 2 of them train at a time for a 2 hour session. 

The training will last till April 1.


Ryan Juntti

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