The Las Cruces Police Department has been awarded a $188,500 federal grant to support its efforts to further develop and maintain officers’ de-escalation proficiency.
The grant was awarded under the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services' (COPS Office) 2021 Community Policing Development (CPD) Grant Program that funds projects that develop knowledge, increase awareness of effective community policing strategies, increase the skills and abilities of law enforcement and community partners, increase the number of law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders using proven community policing practices, and institutionalize community policing practice in routine business.
The CPD Program advertised approximately $14.5 million in available funding and the deadline to apply was July of 2021. The Department of Justice notified the Las Cruces Police Department today, that its proposal for De-Escalation Training had been approved.
The goals of the project are to:
- Increase internal capacity to provide de-escalation, promote continual learning, and maintenance of officer de-escalation skills
- Increase access to the amount and type of de-escalation training provided to all officers
- Incorporate methods for measuring effectiveness and efficacy of de-escalation training and continuous quality improvement of officer de-escalation proficiency.
Specifically, this grant will enable the Las Cruces Police Department to implement critical training enhancements to provide a more dynamic suite of training that encompasses diverse learning techniques; replace outdated supplies, purchase virtual reality technology and other training enhancements; and build department capacity to collect training data and assess its effectiveness and efficacy. These data will support efforts to continually assess and refine training as needed and help to justify sustaining a more robust training program in the future.
Federal funds will be used to train Las Cruces Police Department academy trainers in the latest evidence-based de-escalation training techniques to be implemented with all officers, to purchase up-to-date training supplies and enhancements for a variety of learning experiences, and to pay for officer overtime during training.