Seminar Title

Verbal De-Escalation and Crisis Communication Skills to Diffuse and Re-Direct Conflict Behavior

Dates of Events

05/31/2023 through 06/01/2023

Last Updated: 05/30/2023
Instructor(s): Mark Lowther
Location: Thornton Police Department - 9000 Colorado Blvd, Thornton, CO 80601
Hotel: Delta Hotels by Marriott Denver / Northglenn - 10 East 120th Avenue, Northglenn, CO 80233
Course Registration Fee: $295
Instructor Bio
Event Detail-2
Mark Lowther
Mark Lowther is a US Marine Corps veteran. Lt. Lowther has 30 years in public safety. Mark is dual POST certified in Utah as a correctional officer, and a Law Enforcement officer having served most of his career in enforcement.
His background is varied and diverse. He has served as a SWAT hostage negotiator for a major portion of his career. His background and experience come from serving on two Metro SWAT teams. Lt. Lowther has experience on all levels of negotiations from tech to negotiation team leader. He has personally been involved in numerous threatened suicide and SWAT negotiations including barricaded gunmen and hostage incidents. Lt. Lowther also served 10 years as a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officer, instructor, and training coordinator.
Lt. Lowther has spent a major portion of his career in assignments involving crisis negotiation, suicide intervention, verbal de-escalation, peer support, Autism awareness, and mental illness. He has instructed law enforcement locally, nationally, and internationally on those topics. In addition to his law enforcement training, he has received specialized training in crisis counseling and Psychological First Aid. He currently volunteers working a crisis hotline.
Lt. Lowther was named by the Utah Tactical Officers Association as the 2012 Crisis Negotiator of the year. Some of his experiences in SWAT negotiations are featured in the book “Crisis Cops 2”.
Lt. Lowther served as part of the Public Safety Law Enforcement Unit assigned to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. He has also served on a federal task force as a sworn Special Deputy United States Marshal. Mark although retired from full time law enforcement, continues to serve part time in law enforcement with multiple agencies.
Course Objectives
Course Overview:
Course Objectives:
Today’s scrutiny placed upon police officers and other first responders have resulted in a growing need to learn verbal conflict and crisis communication skills. When verbal encounters become adversarial and escalate, they can often lead to controversial use of force issues or worse. When many of these incidents are reviewed, the officer is often scrutinized for their lack of de-escalation techniques. Verbal de-escalation is becoming an essential training issue in law enforcement. It was addressed in The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (2015), The National Consensus Policy on Use of Force (January 2017) and most recently in President Trumps Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities (June 2020).
Although no training can ever reasonably be expected to stop all incidents from escalating to use of force, many citizens and communities have begun to expect officers to receive training and when possible apply verbal de-escalation strategies.
This training is designed to help law enforcement, corrections, EMT’s, Fire Fighters and others to understand and deal with individuals who are agitated or in crisis.
Attendees will learn that communicating verbally during a potential force encounter may aid in stabilizing the situation.
Verbal de-escalation may reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options, and resources can be called upon to resolve the situation.
Attendees will learn many of the same skills Crisis/Hostage negotiators use to de-escalate, build rapport, and often move the subject who is agitated/in crisis towards the rational communications that benefits everyone involved.
Attendees will also learn how to become more effective listeners which in turn will make individuals better officers, report takers, and overall better communicators. This can aid in the reduction of officer complaints and possibly in some instances use of force issues.

At The Conclusion of This Course, The Participant Should Be Able To Do The Following:
· Understand what happens physiologically when subjects are agitated or in crisis.
· Understand techniques that may be effective in getting the subject to think and act more rationally.
· Know how to develop and maintain rapport.
· Employ active listening skills to de-escalate the subject and work towards gaining compliance.
· How to encourage individuals to cooperate without the use of force.
· Move beyond basic verbal commands (Ask,Tell, Make) to actual problem-solving dialog with persons in extreme

· Understand the steps needed to effect behavioral change.
· Understand the benefits of listening and letting the subject “Tell their story”.
· Better understand the mindsets of suicidal individuals and deal more effectively with suicide by cop ideations.

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