Ardmore police use de-escalation training to keep officers, community safe

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Ardmore police say it’s tricky to know when you can talk someone down, and when force is needed.

Ardmore police say it’s tricky to know when you can talk someone down, and when force is needed.

That’s why they’ve been working on de-escalation and communication training.

Just days after their latest class, officers used that quick thinking to talk a suicidal man off a roof.

Sergeant Juan Galicia said oftentimes showing up to a scene is no fun.

“They’re cussing at us they’re yelling at us even though they called us,” Galicia said. “And they’re telling us we’re not going to do our jobs, not going to do this and that. And so that makes it pretty challenging.”

But with regular training in skills that de-escalate the situation, Galicia said lives can be saved.

“Taking a human life is not something that a human being is built to do,” Galicia said. “That’s just not what they want to do and unfortunately we know officers that have experienced that and the ptsd that comes along with that.”

Galicia said it’s not just one class, that’s what the department is moving towards.

“I’ve noticed that we as a whole are taking it more serious,” Galicia said. “We’re seeing what the public is perceiving and what they feel and what they don’t like and we are making efforts to better our officers tactically and also educational wise.”

Sometimes the right choice is to act, such as recently when after talking with him for an hour, an Ardmore officer pulled a man to safety as he was threatening to jump off a building.

“Anytime we can de-escalate that situation it’s obviously good for that person, their family and us,” Galicia said.

Galicia said the priority is to keep citizens and officers safe.

“The job is already stressful enough,” Galicia said. “We certainly don’t wanna add to it by using deadly force, but if the situation arises, we’re gonna obviously do what we can by law to protect ourselves and protect the ones we’ve sworn to protect.”

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