The Vinita Police Department is working to keep it’s officers safer while out on the job.
They’re increasing training in de-escalation tactics. Vinita police Chief Bobby Floyd says this coincides with the nationwide incidents involving officers and citizens that been increasing.
“I’m a third generation cop,” says Chief Bobby Floyd, “I’ve taken ideas from all them and it’s how you evolve and grow things were done differently 3 generations ago.”
Chief Floyd adds they’ve been focusing on teaching his officers how to safely deal with individuals that are considering harming themselves or others..They are doing this through de-escalation training.
“We’ve got bad police officers across the country. They’ve done really really bad things and we can’t do anything about that and what we can do we can give our officers up to date training and we can teach them how we want them to act on the streets and how we want them to approach a situation,” says Chief Floyd.
De-escalation training is perception based.
“It’s going through a thought process sometimes it involves empathy being able to put yourself in a position to where you can talk to somebody and not necessarily relate to them but you’re trying to understand where they are coming from,” says Chief Floyd.
Officials with the police department believe refreshers are beneficial for the force.
“After a period of time they kind of lose sight of it a little bit they kind of get to the point where all they are thinking about is getting the bad guy,” says Troy Messick, Assistant Chief Vinita Police Department, “a lot of times you can talk a subject into handcuffs a lot faster than you can physically put them in handcuffs.”
Ultimately Floyd is hoping this will impact the community.
“I want our citizens in Vinita to know we are doing everything we can to protect them in a safe way..and that’s even if they commit a crime,” says Chief Floyd.
Floyd says forces need to continue to grow and adapt with change over time. He hopes departments across the United States adapt that mentality also.