Should states receiving JAG grants require their officers to participate in de-escalation training?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill requires any state or local governments receiving grants from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) to train their police officers on de-escalation tactics. These de-escalation training sessions will prioritize the use of communication, negotiation, and non-lethal methods of force to resolve critical conflicts. The bill reduces the need for law enforcement officers to employ excessive force and also draws awareness to individuals who are suffering from substance abuse or mental health issues. States and localities that fail to comply with the de-escalation training requirements will receive a 15% - 20% reduction in their JAG grant allocations. Sponsor: Rep. Gwen Moore (Democrat, Wisconsin, District 4) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

  "It just requires so much buy-in in an institution that is kind of culturally set already. It will be hard for any kind of legislation to provide the fix that would really reach the core of the police function and the way police have been operating for so long." Source: Daniel Harawa (Director of the Appellate Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis)

Proponents say

  "This bill would give local law enforcement officials the valuable tools and training they need to safely and effectively patrol our streets with a strong emphasis on preserving life, drawing from several ‘best practices’ and recommendations from the Police Executive Research Forum. We all know that police serve a vital role in upholding public safety and improving the quality of life of communities. Let us not forget the trauma that officers experience in being involved in a violent altercation, especially one that results in the loss of life. It is my sincere hope that my bill will not only help protect our citizens, but also also assist those responsible for keeping us safe and who put their lives on the line everyday." Source: Rep. Gwen Moore (Democrat, Wisconsin, District 4)

  "One of the challenges in these split-second decisions is the need for more training, that’s why the de-escalation aspect is so important." Source: Sen. Tim Scott (Republican, South Carolina)