Examining the Development, Delivery, and Evaluation of De-escalation Training: Determining What Works

This conference workshop presentation provides an opportunity to hear lessons learned from: police executives developing new use of force policies and implementing changes in de-escalation training, police trainers delivering de-escalation training, and researchers studying the effectiveness of their efforts. Effective policies and training for responding to suspect resistance are essential for law enforcement officers. Various de-escalation trainings have been developed, yet the impact of these trainings on policing outcomes remains largely unknown. Focusing on the development, delivery and evaluation of two different de-escalation trainings, the presenters builds upon last year's Use of Force and De-escalation: Innovations in Policy and Training workshop.

Justin Witt


Louisville Metro, Kentucky, Police Department

Sgt. Justin Witt is a veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Currently, Sgt. Witt is assigned to the Training Unit where he leads the PTO and Career Development programs. Sgt. Witt has prior experience as a patrol sergeant, an instructor in the Advanced Training Section of the Louisville Metro Police Department and as a plain clothes narcotics detective as well as, being on a gang task force in Louisville. Sergeant Witt has been involved with the writing of a De-Escalation pamphlet for law enforcement agencies in partnership with other members of the LE community and IACP. Sergeant Witt is an instructor for the Police Executive Research Forum as well as the Institute for In-Custody Death. Sergeant Witt also serves on the Louisville Metro Police Department Merit Board, responsible for reviewing disciplinary appeals from members of the department.

Robin S. Engel, PhD


University of Cincinnati

Robin S. Engel, Ph.D. is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police / UC Center for Police Research and Policy. Dr. Engel engages in police research and evaluation, with expertise in empirical assessments of police behavior, police-community relations, and crime reduction strategies. She promotes best practices in policing by establishing academic-practitioner partnerships, and has served as Principal Investigator for over eighty research grants, totaling over twenty million dollars. She has published over sixty research articles, books, and book chapters, along with dozens of technical reports for practitioners, and has been ranked among top academics, and the number one female in the field of criminal justice/criminology based on publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. She has expertise in conducting empirical examinations of racial/ethnic disparities in police stops, arrests, and use of force with over a dozen police agencies, along with direct experience working to rebuild police-community relationships in the aftermath of controversial police uses of force. From 2015-2018, Dr. Engel served as Vice President for Safety and Reform for the University of Cincinnati, where her administrative duties included oversight of the daily operations and implementation of comprehensive reform efforts of the University of Cincinnati Police Division (UCPD) in the aftermath of a critical incident involving the fatal police shooting of an unarmed motorist. Her work on violence reduction resulted in several prominent team awards including the 2008 IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, the 2009 IACP/West Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations, and the 2008 National Criminal Justice Association's Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award. She has served as an expert on policing and violence reduction on panels convened at the White House and 10 Downing Street. In 2017, Dr. Engel was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany. In 2018, she was appointed by Governor John Kasich to the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, and reappointed in 2019 by Governor Mike DeWine. She currently serves as the co-chair of IACP's Research Advisory Committee.  

Michael White, PhD


Arizona State University

Michael D. White, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, and is Associate Director of ASU's Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety. Dr. White is Co-Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the U.S. Department of Justice Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Temple University in 1999. Prior to entering academia, Dr. White worked as a deputy sheriff in Pennsylvania. Dr. White's primary research interests involve the police, including use of force, technology, and misconduct. He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and his recent work has been published in Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Criminology and Public Policy, and Criminal Justice and Behavior. He is co-author of Cops, Cameras, and Crisis: The potential and the perils of police body-worn cameras (2020); Stop and Frisk: The Use and Abuse of a Controversial Policing Tactic (2016); and Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department (2013; all three published by New York University Press). Dr. White has commented extensively in the media on police issues, especially body-worn cameras, including in Scientific American, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, CNN, NPR, and MSNBC. He also testified about body-worn cameras before the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Dr. White has served as the PI or Co-PI on grants exceeding $8.8 million, including grants from the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to his current work as Co-Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the U.S. Department of Justice's Body-Worn Camera program, he currently serves as the research partner for two projects with the Tempe Police Department: The Tempe Strategies for Policing Innovation (funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance), which centers on the development and evaluation of a police de-escalation training program; and the Tempe First Responder Opioid Recovery Project (funded by SAMHSA), which involves training and outfitting all patrol officers with naloxone. He is also currently the co-PI on two National Institute of Justice grants, one evaluating the deployment of body-worn cameras in a local jail and the other employing social network and spatial analysis to understand and address fentanyl distribution networks in Long Beach, CA.  

Sylvia Moir

Chief of Police

Tempe, Arizona, Police Department

A California native, Chief Moir has over three decades of local police practice; with over one decade as a Chief of Police. Chief Moir is known as an executive who is calm in chaos, enthusiastic about the profession of policing and focused on positively influencing the culture and climate of the organizations she leads through strategy and policy work to better serve the employees and community. In February 2021 she was appointed as the Interim Chief in Napa CA where she was brought in to use her experience to strengthen the organization. She was the Chief of Police in Tempe Arizona 2016-2020 leading the department through multiple crises and advancements, and the Chief of El Cerrito California Police Department from 2010-2016. She spent most of her early career with the Sacramento Police Department where she served in every division of the department and she was the Incident Commander on hundreds of planned and spontaneous events, a trainer in several policing subjects, and a member of the Sacramento Police Honor Guard. 

Notably, she completed rigorous and humbling training with the US Army Old Guard at Fort Myer, VA and Arlington National Cemetery. She is the Principal of the Macrae Group specializing in public safety strategy, tactics, and education, the chair of the Community Policing Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, an advisor for WRAP Technologies, and a member of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force. She served on the Executive Board of the Arizona and California Associations of Chiefs of Police and is a past President of the Police Executive Research Forum. Chief Moir is in demand as a speaker and in 2019, Chief Moir participated in TEDx SoMa’s Modern Campfire series, where she discussed the complexity of modern-day policing and the importance of practicing mindfulness in the profession. During the talk, Chief Moir spoke about the impact of mindfulness on her leadership, her employees, and the promise that the practices are showing for de-escalation, sound decision making, humanity, and resilience. Chief Moir holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School - Center for Homeland Defense and Security.


Examining the Development, Delivery, and Evaluation of De-escalation Training: Determining What Works Conference Workshop Presentation
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
IACP Credit Hours and Certificate of Attendance
Live Viewing: 1.00 IACP Credit Hours credit and certificate available
Live Viewing: 1.00 IACP Credit Hours credit and certificate available