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UT Martin Police Virtual De-Escalation Training

JACKSON, Tn.- The controversy over the beating death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis continues. Two sheriff's deputies involved have now been suspended for five days for failure to keep their body cameras on. With the future of law enforcement in question, universities like UT martin prepare their criminal justice students for less violent interactions. one method used is virtual de- escalation training.

“So, you will be placed in situations where you literally have to make what they call a split-second decision to shoot an individual who's threatening you or the hope that you're able to de-escalate the situation so that the individual on the screen drops his gun. and there will be times when you make the right call and the person is not a threat and he or she drops their weapon”, says Dr.Danny Pirtle UTM Criminal Justice professor.

Dr. Danny Pirtle believes in the importance of de-escalation training.

The cases in the streets with police interaction especially minorities, the police being the judge and jury in those instances, so the training especially non-lethal training is beneficial for saving lives.”

Dr.Pirtle pointed out that de-escalation training isn't only for students. the university has also trained several police departments. Dr. Pirtle believes training can be more effective in preventing violent interactions than other methods such as body cameras.

“And so many people thought that that would lead to a decrease in police misconduct. well, as we've seen in countless situations, specifically in the Nichols case, police don't care, and they're not concerned about misbehaving on camera because they know it will literally take an act of congress for you to even have access to.”

If you or your organization would like to be a part of virtual de-escalation training at UT Martin. You can visit the UT Martin website.

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