Increase Annual Community Oriented, Sensitivity, Fair and Impartial Policing, and De-escalation Training for TPD Officers.

See below to learn more.

Target: Increase Annual Community Oriented, Sensitivity, Fair and Impartial Policing, and De-escalation Training for TPD Officers.

Current performance: Please see update below.

The City is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community through the delivery of professional public safety services. All officers of the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) complete in-service training as part of their annual accreditation requirement. In-service training includes topics on sensitivity, fair and impartial policing, and de-escalation. TPD officers encounter a variety of challenging situations daily. Knowing a range of techniques to address these challenges help them to navigate intense interactions, gain voluntary compliance, and protect lives.

In addition to the annual in-service training, TPD reinforces the principles of fair and impartial policing through several standalone trainings that are conducted throughout the year. For example, in 2021, TPD held an eight-hour course on fair and impartial policing for all sworn personnel as well as members of the community including Community Leaders, the Advisory Council, the Advisory Board, and other law enforcement agencies. That same year, all TPD sworn officers completed sensitivity training focused on gender awareness and responding to calls involving transgender persons. TPD also provides a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) that is an innovative, community-based approach to calls-for-service related to mental health crises. CIT teaches officers communication skills and resources available to individuals with unique mental health needs. To date, 179 sworn officers have completed the Crisis Intervention Training, representing approximately 45% of all sworn personnel. The goal is for every sworn officer to receive this training as the availability of classes allows.

In 2022, TPD received a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to purchase a Virtual Reality (VR) system to be used for de-escalation training. The grant is also funding four “Train-the-Trainer” de-escalation training courses that will be hosted by the City. The course will also be offered to agencies throughout the region with registration priority given to TPD officers.

As a part of the City’s overall commitment to community-oriented policing, the City piloted a mental health response unit, the Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile (TEAM), to provide a multidisciplinary approach to address non-violent 9-1-1 calls. The TEAM unit, which began responding to calls in March 2021, consists of a licensed mental health professional, a TFD Paramedic or EMT, and a CIT-trained TPD officer. As of 2022, the TEAM unit has responded to more than 2,300 calls for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

The City is committed to the unbiased, equitable treatment of all persons in its delivery of public services. This includes ensuring TPD conducts highly professional, community-oriented policing that protects and serves all members of our community. Addressing a range of public safety needs requires the ability to communicate well with others and respond with the right approach in often difficult situations. The City will continue working to increase the proficiency of its first responders in applying fair and impartial policing techniques.

Tallahassee Police Department. Last Updated: October 2022.