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Wednesday, December 14, 2016
News Release - Winnipeg Police Service
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
The Winnipeg Police Service is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens in our community. As a result, we have partnered with ProTraining to provide our officers with mental health awareness training designed to assist with recognizing distress and enhancing positive outcomes.
What is ProTraining?
ProTraining provides mental health and de-escalation training focusing on preventing violent encounters in police interactions. Training has been created and approved with the help of an International Advisory Board of police officers, police educators, mental health professionals, academic researchers, adult educators, eLearning experts and individuals with experiences from the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
What does training provide?
Key concepts teach officers verbal and non-verbal communication strategies, de-escalation techniques, empathy skills, and how to interact with someone who is un-responsive, uncooperative or threatening. Training is based on 5 years of scientific research out of the University of Alberta, leading to:
41% decrease in physical use-of-force
26% decrease in weapon force
19% increase in efficiency
41% increase in mental health awareness
23% increase in officer confidence
How is training delivered?
ProTraining is delivered using a combination of online and classroom training. It is anticipated that all Winnipeg Police officers will participate in the training over the next two years. This will form part of a regular in-service training regimen.
Why do police need this training?
This training offers a unique, engaging and interactive way to not only inform officers about useful skills, but also includes realistic scenarios allowing them to practice these skills. It is evidence-based training that has been found to significantly decrease use-of force used in mental health calls.
By focusing on appropriate and sufficient training for police around mental illness we can provide officers with the skills needed to respond emphatically and employ de-escalation techniques. This can lead to avoiding the use of undue force, and preventing negative outcomes.