When an officer responds to a call for help he or she can find themselves in a dangerous situation that can escalate out of control instantly. It's why officers in Yakima are being trained on how to de escalate situations to save help protect them and save the lives of others.

Last summer Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray directed senior management and experts at the department to look closely at the police department's force-related policies. Murray asked them to compare the policies to the Police Executive Research Forum’s 30 guiding principles. As a result a lot of changes are being made in the Yakima Police Department. A news release says the comparison lead to "an extensive reform of YPD policies, an enormous improvement in transparency, new requirements on reporting and evaluating use of force, and a commitment to new training for officers and other police employees."

The plan for major changes in the department was presented to the Yakima City Council in September of 2020. Murray says on January 8 Officer Ty Campbell, owner of Call Box Training, was in Yakima to train half the officers in the agency. He'll return on Friday to train the others. The training is happening at Yakima's Stone Church.

The idea behind the training is something police departments have been talking about in the last five years. Officers are involved in highly stressful situations that can get out of hand or escalate fast. That escalation can lead to people being hurt or killed including the officer. The training teaches officers techniques to help de escalate every situation officers face.