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New de-escalation policy for Carlsbad Police

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 20:45:21-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - The Carlsbad Police Department announced on Thursday a new de-escalation policy that is now in effect.

The department worked with the Carlsbad Equality Coalition, North San Diego NAACP, the North County Equity and Justice Coalition to create the policy that encourages peaceful resolutions to calls for service, according to the police department.

"We did start in Escondido. We worked hand in hand with the chief there, now we're in Carlsbad, and we won't stop," said Yusef Miller, co-chair of the North County Equity and Justice Coalition.

"Together, we've worked to address some of the most challenging issues facing our law enforcement as they respond to calls for service in the field," said Lt. Reid Shipley, who is responsible for the training portion of the policy.

The policy is several pages long and focuses on different approaches when officers respond to service calls, including pre-engagement considerations, de-escalation techniques and disengagement considerations.

"Pre-engagement basically constitutes what officers do from the moment we become aware of a call for service, to the point where we end up interacting with someone," Shipley said.

He said that it requires officers to assess the nature of the call for service and decide if it's something they need to go to immediately or have time to get additional resources to respond as safely as possible.

Once officers engage with an individual, they will focus on effective communication, understanding what the individual is going through, and if they're in crisis, according to Shipley.

The policy also outlines disengagement practices.

"Disengagement is how do we end up disengaging or leaving from an incident, have we resolved what we need to resolve?" Shipley said. "Is it a law enforcement matter, or is this something that we are going to bring another group into effectively deal with?"

Keyrollos Ibrahim with the Carlsbad Equality Coalition said the policy really centers around creating time and space, so officers don't have to make split-second decisions.

"Creating the ability of the officers to go into a situation and make the best decisions possible," Ibrahim said.

Chief of Police Mickey Williams signed the policy on Oct. 14, and it officially went into effect on Oct. 23.

Read the full policy here.