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SB 945 - Requires Implicit Bias and De-Escalation Training for Law Enforcement - Michigan Key Vote


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Title: Requires Implicit Bias and De-Escalation Training for Law Enforcement

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires implicit bias and de-escalation training for incoming law enforcement officers, beginning January 1, 2022.



  • Requires an individual seeking to become licensed as a law enforcement officer to complete the training for the following (Sec. 9f):

    • De-escalation techniques; 

    • Implicit bias training; 

    • Procedural justice training; and

    • Mental health resources and support available for law enforcement officers.

  • Requires a licensed law enforcement officer who has not previously completed the above-mentioned training to completely to do so by January 1, 2022 (Sec. 9f).

  • Requires the minimum standards for training on de-escalation techniques to include all of the following (Sec. 9f):

    • The use of alternative non-lethal methods of applying force and techniques that prevent a law enforcement officer from escalating any situation where force is likely to be used;

    • Verbal and physical tactics to minimize the need for the use of force, with an emphasis on communication, negotiation,  de-escalation techniques, and providing the time needed to resolve the incident safely for each individual involved; 

    • The use of the lowest level of force that is a possible and safe response to an identified threat and reevaluation of an identified threat as it progresses; 

    • Techniques that provide all officers with awareness and recognition of physical and mental disabilities, mental health issues, and substance abuse issues with an emphasis on communication strategies, and training officers simultaneously in teams on de-escalation and use of force to improve group dynamics in teams on de-escalation and use of force to improve group dynamics and diminish the use of force during critical incidents;

    • Principles of using distance, cover and time when approaching and managing critical incidents, and the elimination of other techniques in favor of using distance and cover to create a reaction gap; 

    • Crisis intervention strategies to appropriately identify and respond to an individual suffering from physical or mental disabilities, mental health issues, or substance abuse issues, with an emphasis on de-escalation techniques and promoting effective communication; and

    • Other evidence-based approaches found to be appropriate that enhance de-escalation techniques and skills.

  • Requires each law enforcement agency within the state to adopt a written policy stating that each of its law enforcement officers has an affirmative duty to utilize de-escalation techniques in their interactions with citizens whenever possible, no later than January 1, 2022 (Sec. 9f).

  • Defines “de-escalation techniques” as methods for assessing and managing a situation in order to resolve it with the least use of force that is safe and practicable by a law enforcement officer (Sec. 9f).

  • Defines “implicit bias training” as an evidence-based program to provide fair and impartial law enforcement by increasing awareness of and improving responses to unconscious bias (Sec. 9f).

  • Defines “procedural justice training” as a system of law enforcement that prioritizes legitimacy over deterrence in obtaining citizen compliance with law enforcement directions and emphasizes fair process and respectful 2-way communication conveying the rationale for directions given by a law enforcement officer to a citizen (Sec. 9f).

  • Defines a “reaction gap” as the minimum amount of distance necessary to ensure that a law enforcement officer is able to react appropriately to a potential threat (Sec. 9f).

Title: Requires Implicit Bias and De-Escalation Training for Law Enforcement