How to help: Northern California wildfire relief

Police shootings: de-escalating is always the goal, says Utah’s top trainer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- The man in charge of Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, says police shootings are traumatic for the suspect's family and the officer involved.

"I'm so blessed that I haven't had to fire at someone, but I've had a lot of friends who have been involved in shootings and the aftermath is awful," Stephenson said.

POST training includes a 12-hour course in conflict resolution.

"That talks about body language and proximity, some of the stressors that may be created if you get too close to [a suspect] or if you raise your voice," Stephenson said.

Some Utah police departments expect their officers to attend Crisis Intervention Training, or CIT. The National Alliance on Mental Illness sponsors CIT training, which takes a week.

Stephenson said the training is crucial, but he said police officers are law enforcers and cannot be expected to diagnose and treat mental illness or drug abuse.

"A lot of these officer involved shootings, there's drugs aboard, or we're seeing an increase in mental illness because there's not enough institutions, there's not enough help for them or they don't feel they need help," Stephenson said.

6 comments

  • unionbrother

    To the esteemed CIT Trainer in Utah. The words you use pander to the poor upset shooter cop and their upset families. You only dwell on the murdered person as subject and attached criminal activity after they are shot due to the 29 year failed, disliked Memphis Model which was recently given the title of highest crime in America.
    Quite your job and do it now. Your Psychological Profile is Sadistic.

    • BOB

      The correct term is “justifiable homicide”. The police would much rather take your sorry behind to jail but are trained and prepared to send you to the morgue if the situation calls for it.

Comments are closed.