The training for Denver Sheriff Department deputies on how to deal with inmates in crisis is nerve-wracking. Actors wearing jail uniforms scream in hysterics, flail and even stuff wads of tissue up their noses to simulate real life inside a detention center, the Denver Post reports. As part of an ongoing reform effort, the Denver Sheriff Department is sending its nearly 700 uniformed deputies through a 40-hour crisis intervention training program, or CIT. The department will spend just over $1 million this year to pay for it, said Simon Crittle, a department spokesman.
The training is part of the department’s changed focus of de-escalating conflict. That shift is reflected in a new use-of-force policy released last month that requires deputies to use the communication technique “verbal judo” and other tactics to win inmates’ cooperation. Force should be a last resort under the new policy.