Update the RCMP’s crisis intervention and de-escalation tools and training
The RCMP will update its mandatory training to ensure officers are provided with improved crisis intervention training and de-escalation tools and techniques that reflect current best practices. This will further reduce the number of occasions where force is used in police interactions with community members. Routine, periodic reviews of this training will ensure alignment with emerging approaches. Employees will be mandated to participate in the updated training on an annual basis.
Why it matters
Clear commitment and national leadership to improve and maintain de-escalation training for police are key parts of the Commissioner's mandate. More importantly, such leadership nurtures public trust and confidence. Through a preservation of life and human-centered policing approach, police in Canada must continue to seek ways to increase public transparency, enhance decision-making and de-escalation training, modernize intervention options that enhance de-escalation, and carry out after-action oversight and accountability measures.
In December 2022, a representative of the RCMP became the new co-chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Use of Force Advisory Committee. There are on-going discussions to determine if the RCMP and the committee can work in partnership to conduct a review of de-escalation training (for example: evidence, best practices) across Canada.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Board of Directors has approved that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police facilitate the de-escalation public consultations through an identified third-party consultant. This will further promote working toward an improved model and national framework.
To promote trust, transparency, and accountability for the Canadian public, the RCMP is committed to open, proactive, and routine disclosure of police intervention option data. The 2022 Police Intervention Options Report will be published in fall 2023. The data and report will continue to highlight that 99.9% of all occurrences are without the use of force.
The National Police Intervention Unit (NPIU) is committed to ensuring the RCMP is utilizing the latest evidence-based training in the area of crisis intervention and de-escalation (CID). The National Police Intervention Unit, Operational Research Unit, and Learning and Development have continued to explore peer-reviewed research, promising practices, training, and technology to determine additional strategies to bolster crisis intervention and de-escalation training for RCMP members. This on-going review is being conducted to ensure that the RCMP is aligned with best practices and to continually evolve CID training.
The RCMP is leading a task force of Chiefs of Police from across Canada to standardize and improve police use of de-escalation techniques (known as the Task Group on De-escalation and Crisis Intervention). The findings will be used to identify the tools and training required to implement change in procedures and related policies. The RCMP continues to participate in an international medical safety study as part of an ongoing review of the carotid control technique. Information on the study and its results will be shared when the report is completed later in 2022.
The RCMP continues to roll out its updated Incident Management Intervention Model (IMIM) training for all members, which includes a revised module dedicated to crisis intervention and de-escalation. The training enhances a member's ability to recognize people in emotional and mental distress and to consider how police presence, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication, can significantly impact the ability to de-escalate a sensitive situation. Members also receive hands-on experience developing crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques through the IMIM Scenario-Based Training Recertification that has been specifically designed for subjects in crisis.
The RCMP will continue to monitor its mandatory training and evolve its delivery using an evidence-based approach in line with the needs of employees and the public.
To date, the RCMP has updated its training and programs to more fully integrate and emphasize crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques and strategies to help guide police officers during interventions. This includes improved training on implicit bias, specialized training for experienced officers and updated training for Cadets.
The RCMP has updated its Incident Management Intervention Model (IMIM) in 2020 to provide a greater focus on officer presence, communications and de-escalation. These changes are reflected in training. The RCMP has also increased to yearly, the frequency at which its members knowledge of crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques are refreshed.
There has also been increased engagement and collaboration with Canadian crisis intervention, mental health and police sector academics and researchers, including the RCMP's launch of a national dialogue with Canadian police chiefs to collaboratively re-examine the current de-escalation framework, in consultation with the policing community and specific groups, including those representing racialized people. It is critical that diverse views are heard and considered in this important work. The outcome of this work will inform changes to our police interventions model and de-escalation techniques. Evidence, operational data, research and external consultations will guide the evolution of the RCMP's IMIM, and subsequent training efforts. Learn more about the CACP's resolution on de-escalation and crisis intervention.
To promote trust, transparency, and accountability for the Canadian public, the RCMP is committed to open, proactive, and routine disclosure of police intervention option data.
Following last year's release of data from 2010-2019, the 2020 Police Intervention Options Report will now include reporting on a greater number of situational factors (for example: substance use, emotionally disturbed persons, weapons, gender) and provide provincial/territorial breakdowns. The report continues to highlight that 99.9% of all occurrences are resolved naturally or with communication/de-escalation.
The RCMP is currently examining the use of the carotid control technique. As part of this review, the RCMP is participating in a study with a group of experienced international police use of force researchers and physicians related to the carotid control technique. The review and related research will provide objective medical evidence of the risks and benefits of this intervention, which is critical to making evidence-based policy decisions. The report is expected to be published in 2022.
As the RCMP continues to execute its modernization mandate, including the modernization of intervention equipment, it will continue to support current after-action review initiatives that enhance police oversight, accountability and transparency.
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