Lee County Sheriff’s deputies are sharpening their communication skills, response resistance and authority jurisdiction.
Deputies are doing in-person training, in addition to online training, to get more real-world experience.
This is a way to open up a new dialogue for deputies to learn and understand each other while also understanding the needs of the community.
“If there’s a trend coming out or a law change or policy change or anything like that, we can sit down and discuss it, train with it and make it interactive, back and forth,” said Todd Olmer, a sergeant with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Within four weeks, they’ve picked apart more than 600 scenarios.
“The general tactics, the communication side what we worked on was listening, empathizing, asking questions, paraphrasing and then summarizing and just when and where those tactics can and will be applied,” Olmer said.
Olmer said the training is already helping deputies in the field.
“With one we had mentioned earlier was a citizen who had reached out to the sheriff’s office and he was able to watch a supervisor, talk to somebody who was irate and what they were able to do was effectively communicate with that person, they were able to listen, they were able to empathize with them and the citizen ended up watching this and gave great accolades to us,” Olmer said. “He said this is awesome you were doing this; you were doing de-escalation.”
The training also helped de-escalate a domestic call situation recently.
“They ended up using these and implementing these tactics, with no injuries to anybody involved,” Olmer said.