The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office is getting ahead of new state law to reduce the state’s prison population by 13 percent over the next decade, reduce the number of people supervised in the community by 16 percent, and save taxpayers $305 million.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his 2017 Regular Legislative Session agenda in March. He plans to strengthen community policing standards in Louisiana.
One of the items on his agenda is: Enhanced Law Enforcement Training Requirements – Reps. Ted James (D-District 101) and Katrina Jackson (D-District 16). This will Strengthen training requirements for the Council on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), to include requiring the development and implementation curriculum for de-escalation, bias policing recognition, sudden in-custody deaths, and crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers and provides grounds for revocation of P.O.S.T. certification.
The state will start putting de-escalation training into police academies next year and will require officers who’ve already graduated to go through the training.
“It’s a new era with new responsibilities,” said Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. “I intend to fully implement efforts such as these.”
Sending officers out of the Parish for this training can become quite costly at $200 per officer. The NPSO chose an easier and most cost effective route.
Asst. Chief Jesse Taitano became an instructor in order to certify his fellow law enforcement officers. This cost the Sheriff’s Office around $1,000 and Taitano has already certified 100 officers.
The 8-hour course provides public safety professionals with time-tested communication skills proven to help de-escalate volatile situations, safeguard fellow officers’ emotional and professional well-being, and significantly enhance the agency’s professional image.
“We’re trying to teach officers how to verbally de-escalate a situation,” said Taitano. “It’s important to understand how to persuade, rather than demand. In everyday situations and every police encounter, this could be the difference between a peaceful resolution and physical intervention.”
The NPSO will begin to offer this training to other agencies in Natchicohes and surrounding Parishes. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.