SWFL officers receiving training to improve communication skills

Published: March 5, 2018 2:59 PM EST
Updated: March 5, 2018 5:02 PM EST

Every day, officers in Southwest Florida come face to face with threats that they must confront within seconds.

“The fact that we’re working with the department of justice and seven different law agencies, it’s an incredible meaning right now,” said J. Mitchell Haley with FMPD.

The Fort Myers Police Department, along with several other law enforcement agencies in SWFL, are learning how to better deal with confrontation when things get hectic.

“We know that a lot of officers are really good at deescalation already, but how do you add some tactics on top of it because you just can’t isolate verbals when you’re talking to someone. This gives them a chance to layer how to talk to someone with respect, with empathy, how to be real,” said Sgt. Don Gulla with Polis Solutions.

Gulla, along with others in law enforcement, are stopping in cities like Fort Myers to teach and help these officers learn the importance of communication.

Part of the training includes hands-on active scenarios. And common ways of talking people down go something like this:

“I’m going to ask that you please take that knife away from you.”

“I’m not going to put this knife down, I’m not doing anything.”

“Sir, you have a wife.”

Training exercises like this are some of the things more than 100 officers in SWFL are now learning to incorporate on the job.