Florida Senate - 2021 SB 1818 By Senator Burgess 20-00600D-21 20211818__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to law enforcement officer training; 3 creating s. 943.1719, F.S.; defining terms; 4 authorizing the Criminal Justice Standards and 5 Training Commission to incorporate instruction on use 6 of force, deescalation techniques, and suicide 7 awareness and prevention techniques into the course 8 curriculum required for law enforcement officers 9 obtaining initial certification; providing training 10 authorizations; creating s. 943.17191, F.S.; 11 authorizing the commission to adopt rules authorizing 12 each officer to receive instruction on use of force, 13 deescalation techniques, and suicide awareness and 14 prevention techniques as part of required instruction 15 for continued employment or appointment as an officer; 16 providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 943.1719, Florida Statutes, is created 21 to read: 22 943.1719 Basic skills training relating to use of force, 23 deescalation techniques, and suicide awareness and prevention 24 techniques.— 25 (1) As used in this section, the term: 26 (a) “Deescalation techniques” includes, but is not limited 27 to: 28 1. The use of alternative, nonlethal methods of applying 29 force and techniques that prevent the officer from escalating 30 any situation where force is likely to be used; 31 2. The use of verbal and physical tactics to minimize the 32 need for the use of force, with an emphasis on communication, 33 negotiation, and deescalation tactics, and to provide the time 34 needed to resolve the incident safely for everyone; 35 3. The use of the lowest level of force that is a possible 36 and safe response to an identified threat and reevaluating the 37 threat as it progresses; 38 4. The use of techniques that provide all officers with 39 awareness and recognition of mental health and substance abuse 40 issues with an emphasis on communication strategies, and 41 training officers simultaneously in teams on deescalation and 42 use of force to improve group dynamics and diminish excessive 43 use of force during critical incidents; 44 5. Principles of using distance, cover, and time when 45 approaching and managing critical incidents; and 46 6. Crisis intervention strategies to appropriately identify 47 and respond to individuals suffering from mental health or 48 substance abuse issues, with an emphasis on deescalation tactics 49 and promoting effective communication. 50 (b) ”Suicide awareness and prevention techniques” includes, 51 but is not limited to, methods and tools for recognizing signs 52 that an individual is in crisis and promoting awareness of, and 53 training in recognizing, symptoms of post-traumatic stress 54 disorder. 55 (2) The commission may incorporate instruction on use of 56 force, deescalation techniques, and suicide awareness and 57 prevention techniques into the course curriculum required for a 58 law enforcement officer to obtain initial certification. Use of 59 force training may include, but need not be limited to, 60 instruction on legal use of force, including deadly force. 61 Section 2. Section 943.17191, Florida Statutes, is created 62 to read: 63 943.17191 Continued employment training on use of force, 64 deescalation techniques, and suicide awareness and prevention 65 techniques.—The commission may by rule authorize that each 66 officer receive, as part of the 40 hours of required instruction 67 for continued employment or appointment as an officer, 68 instruction on use of force, deescalation techniques, and 69 suicide awareness and prevention techniques as those terms are 70 described or defined in s. 943.1719. 71 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.