University News

University of New Haven Receives $1 Million Grant to Support De-Escalation Training

The University is one of only six regional de-escalation training centers across the country that provides law enforcement training that is approved by the Department of Justice.

January 25, 2023

Maxcy Hall
The training program will benefit police departments across the Northeast.

The University of New Haven, through its Center for Advanced Policing, has received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to support a de-escalation training program that will be offered for police departments across the Northeast.

Lisa Dadio, M.S., MSW
Lisa Dadio, M.S., MSW

“The University of New Haven has a long-established reputation as a leader in delivering quality law enforcement training,” said Lisa Dadio, director of the Center for Advanced Policing and assistant dean of the Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, and a retired police lieutenant with the New Haven Police Department who spent 16 years in the detective division. “The awarding of this grant through the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) allows us to deliver this one-of-a-kind de-escalation training to law enforcement agencies in the Northeast free of charge.”

The goals of the program include:

  • Increasing the skills, abilities, and practice of law enforcement officers in advanced de-escalation efforts
  • Expanding existing and developing new knowledge about the effectiveness of de-escalation training as an evidence-based practice
  • Enhancing awareness and institutional practice of de-escalation as an evidence-based community-policing strategy for reducing the use of force in order to increase the legitimacy of law enforcement in the communities they serve

In December, the Center for Advanced Policing, was selected to become a National De-Escalation Training Center (NDTC) regional training center. There are six such regional training centers across the country.

As part of the new grant-funded program, officers will be trained in effective de-escalation tactics that evidence-based findings show will reduce the use of force and help build better relations between the police and the communities they serve. The 16-hour course will be facilitated by current and former sworn officers who were certified through a 40-hour interactive, scenario-based, and intensive training session.

Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D.
Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D.

“We will teach officers how to identify at-risk individuals and how to deal with them based on their specific behavior and personality traits,” explained Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D., Stewart Professorship in Criminal Justice and Community Policing, a nationally recognized leader in police-community relations who served for 14 years in the Suffolk County (Mass.) Sheriff’s department, working in policing, corrections, and the courts. “Officers will also learn how to avoid further escalation and how to bring individual behavior from actively aggressive to a more normal and manageable level.”

“The University of New Haven, led by our world-renowned Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, has a long and rich history of being at the forefront of providing training that enhances the skills and effectiveness of law enforcement professionals,” added Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., chancellor of the University of New Haven. “I am grateful for the work of Lt. Dadio and Dr. Boyd in developing a program that will have a far-reaching impact across the Northeast on reducing use-of-force incidents and enriching police-community relations.”