Wayne County District Attorney A.G. Howell announced today that the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office hosted a training course entitled “Tactical Communications: The Art of De-Escalation”. Close to 40 students attended the course, including state, county and local police officers, adult and juvenile probation officers and police dispatchers.

Officers are frequently tasked with dealing with a variety of differing personalities when encountering the public. Some of these encounters can be characterized as negative in nature. Most violent encounters begin with a breakdown in the communication process between the law enforcement or treatment professional and the individual they have encountered. Many times, these incidents begin with non-verbal cues indicating an attack is about to occur. What is said and done during these critical moments can many times determine whether the outcome is a positive one or the situation erodes into a physical encounter.

The course delved into the communication model, taking a detailed look at what communication is while examining each step in the process. Students looked at verbal skills, non-verbal behaviors, and effective intervention techniques that are instrumental in defusing conflict situations. In addition, the course helped students to identify and discuss pre-attack indicators that will enable them to recognize when a conflict is about to escalate into a use of force situation. This will allow the students to acquire necessary information from individuals while ending the encounter on a positive note, thereby minimizing potential dangerous situations.


District Attorney Howell stated, “Effective policing begins with effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal. This course provided a both a refresher and update to students for their training of their communication skills during stressful and intense situations.”