NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The entire New York City police force is getting training to de-escalate situations where a suspect does not have a gun.
That’s the case in an estimated 40% of all police shootings.READ MORE: New York Lawmakers Pushing ‘Treatment Not Jails Act’ — More Comprehensive Support For Those In Legal System
Going forward, NYPD recruits at police academy graduation ceremonies will have new training under their belts, widened out to the entire department within two years.
It is called ICAT — Integrated Communication, Assessment and Tactics. Officers who are trained to pull triggers when faced with the threat of death learn when it’s possible to use extra time, distance, cover and conversation to keep everyone alive.
“We’ve taught them how to use a taser effectively. We teach them how to use a baton and pepper spray,” NYPD Chief of Training Kenneth Corey said.
In an ICAT training video from what is described as an attempted suicide-by-cop incident in Baltimore in 2017, you see an officer bring down the temperature with coolheaded talk.
“Officer Villaronga, by the way. You can call me V,” the officer says.
“A man has got a knife in his hand. He’s threatening and saying he’s gonna hurt someone out here and all of a sudden, y’all don’t do nothing,” the man says.
“Why do you want us to hurt you, man? Why do you want us to do that? We can have you sit down right here on this curb and we can talk to you,” the officer says. “I’m not taking it from you. You’re dropping it. Why do you need to have it in your hand right now?”
“For protection,” the man says.READ MORE: Thrive NYC Director: City’s New Mental Health Response Pilot Program To Begin In Harlem
“From who?” the officer says.
“Everybody in this whole world. Everyone,” the man says.
“He creates a significant gap. He creates space,” an NYPD officer explained.
“Why don’t y’all wanna shoot me?” the man in the video says.
“Because we don’t want to,” the officer says.
“I don’t wanna live,” the man says.
“I can talk to you. Look, I’m 38 years old. I can relate to you, bro,” the officer says. “Appreciate it, man. I appreciate it, man. Just relax. Just relax. Just relax … It could’ve been worse. I appreciate it.”
NYPD is saying research on ICAT has shown a 36% reduction in officer injuries.
“So cops would actually be safer by using time and distance,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.MORE NEWS: New Pilot Program Has FDNY EMTs, Mental Health Crisis Workers Respond To 911 Calls Involving Mentally Ill Individuals Without NYPD
NYPD leaders say with ICAT, they’re training officers not on any individual skill but for a specific positive outcome.