The current training regime for police officers fails to effectively teach them how to interact with our communities in a way that protects and preserves life. For example, police recruits spend 58 hours learning how to shoot firearms and only 8 hours learning how to de-escalate situations. An intensive training regime is needed to help police officers learn the behaviors and skills to interact appropriately with communities.

Policy Solutions


Invest in Rigorous and Sustained Training

⚠️The existing research literature is inconclusive on the effectiveness of training at reducing police violence. While some trainings - like procedural justice training - have some research support, other trainings like implicit bias and mental health training have not been found to be effective. As such, we caution cities against emphasizing more training as a solution. Rather, existing training programs should be replaced with programs that de-emphasize firearms and use of force and that empower communities to design and implement new training paradigms for first responders including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Procedural justice

  • Relationship-based policing

  • Crisis intervention, mediation, and conflict resolution

  • Appropriate engagement with youth

  • Appropriate engagement with LGBTQ, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals

  • Appropriate engagement with individuals who are english language learners

  • Appropriate engagement with individuals from different religious affiliations

  • Appropriate engagement with individuals who are differently abled

  • De-escalation and minimizing the use of force

Intentionally consider 'unconscious' or 'implicit' racial bias

Require current and prospective police officers to undergo mandatory anti-bias testing, including testing for bias in shoot/don't shoot decision-making, and develop a clear policy for considering an officer's level of bias in:

  • law enforcement certification

  • the hiring process

  • performance evaluations

  • decisions about where officers are deployed

Read the Research Below to Learn More About This Issue: