Almost Forgotten Experiential Knowledge of De-escalation

Senior officer Udo Behrendes and Dr. Bernd Bürger highlight the conclusions of experts in the mid-1980s. Experts found that the policing of assemblies did not consistently integrate past operational experience into current operational planning, thus those experiences were continually lost and needed to be acquired anew. This includes assessments of the psychological effects of police tactics on those assembled and the larger public. The authors argue that contemporary experts would discover similar findings. They offer examples of historic police approaches that eased tensions in assembly conflict situations and identify related de-escalation tactics and training supported by scientific evidence.

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