“8 Can’t Wait” and the Hartford Police Department
The Hartford Police Department's use of force policy incorporates recommendations from the consensus use of force model released in 2017 (https://www.theiacp.org/resources/document/national-consensus-discussion-paper-on-use-of-force-and-consensus-policy), and speaks to the principals of Campaign Zero or “8 Can’t Wait”, including the continuum taught by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, guidance from the Vermont State Police for the investigation of an officer involved shooting, and accreditation requirements for reporting and review.
The police department has an instructor that is trained and certified to teach de-escalation. In addition to annual classroom training and qualification, instructors have developed scenario based training for officers that incorporate the use of de-escalation techniques.
The overwhelming majority of use of force incidents involve someone who is under the influence of alcohol/drugs, experiencing a mental health crisis, or a combination of both. Inasmuch, Hartford Police officers have received Crisis Intervention Team Training, which teaches officer to recognize the signs/symptoms of a behavioral crisis, safe de-escalation tactics, and establish a diversion from the criminal justice system to the medical system. Selected personnel have also received additional training in de-escalation as part of the Vermont Care Partner’s, Team Two initiative.
Our long-term commitment to improving our response to persons in crisis was recognized by the International Association of Chief of Police this past year. The Hartford Police Department is one of just 499 nationwide to have met these objectives.