CAOE researcher studies de-escalation behaviors in law enforcement settings
A new CAOE project led by William Terrill, an ASU Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, is researching both verbal and behavioral indicators of de-escalation and escalation in real-life law enforcement situations. Working with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), the research team is identifying patterns of behavior that produce both positive and negative outcomes in field situations. By using a coding model developed by Terrill, the research team is analyzing past video footage from several law enforcement agencies to uncover verbal and behavioral indications from both suspects and law enforcement that cause de-escalation or escalation.
Terrill explains,”We are looking at certain kinds of behaviors, words or postures that work to keep the situation calm or that seem to escalate the situation. Are there commands or directions issued that change the situation for the better?” Based on this analysis, the research team will develop statistical models that help identify patterns and possible indicators that can change the course of interactions for positive outcomes such as lowering officer force, reducing citizen resistant levels and increasing citizen compliance and cooperation.
This project aims to incorporate these valuable findings into future training tor federal, state, and local law enforcement to teach methods of de-escalating situations for greater safety of both citizens and law enforcement agents.