CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. - The Camden County Police Department is training other departments across the state on use of force and de-escalation.
Officers undergo simulated training learning to deescalate conflict and save lives. This guardian over warrior mentality to work with not against the community has been the goal of this department for years. Their work is recognized as a model for police departments everywhere.
Newly appointed Camden County Police Chief Rodriguez says New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called him a few weeks ago and asked if his department would take the lead on training the state’s 38,000 officers on de-escalation.
"I know if it works here in Camden it’s gonna do great things for the rest of New Jersey," he explained.
Trainers Sgt. Ralph Thornton and Captain Kevin Lutz say they teach officers to think carefully and calmly when responding to calls. They practice with simulated exercises in a training arena in the basement of police headquarters.
"I think when you talk about defunding police we did the exact opposite. We reinvested in police and our long-term success," Captain Lutz said.
The old style of policing is to get in and get out as fast as possible now it’s slow down, assess, create distance and be tactical.
Captain Lutz has been with the department for 20 years. He says these progressive policing tactics are making a major difference.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP