Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Law enforcement typically serves as the first responders for most 911 calls, including responding to situations involving behavioral health- (i.e., mental health and substance use disorders) and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD)-related crises. However, law enforcement officers often lack effective training and guidance on how to manage these calls successfully. In this context, law enforcement agencies require support to develop, implement, and expand training and programs that integrate behavioral health and IDD education with de-escalation skill practice to enhance officers' responses to individuals in crisis. National standards are also needed to improve law enforcement response across the US. Recognizing these needs, the National Policing Institute (the Institute), in partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), proposes the development of consensus standards and a model curriculum to enhance law enforcement interactions with individuals in crisis and advance the goals of the Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act of 2022.
To complete these objectives, the Institute and PERF will (1) collaborate with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in the development of national consensus standards to guide the certification of de-escalation training programs, (2) create and pilot an evidence-informed curriculum founded upon two well-established training programs: the BJA’s Crisis Response and Intervention Training (CRIT) and PERF’s Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) training; (3) develop agency self-assessment tool to facilitate comparisons of existing policies and training to national standards; and (4) leverage a cadre of SMEs to provide technical assistance to agencies in the adoption of these standards and training. The Institute and PERF have extensive experience in the planning, implementation, and assessment of training and technical assistance with law enforcement agencies and have extensive reach into the field to disseminate information on evidence-informed and best practices. Separately, the Institute and PERF are leaders in law enforcement. Together, this collaboration will drive evidence-informed practice and innovation to enhance law enforcement response to crisis situations and ultimately save lives in the community. The proposed scope of work has the potential to impact hundreds of law enforcement agencies by equipping officers with better training and standards to improve their response to crisis situations.