Trenton Police Officers Begin Executing New De-Escalation Training Out in the Field 

November 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Police Director Steve E. Wilson today announced that Trenton Police officers have successfully begun integrating new state training into their de-escalation efforts to help take suspects into custody without anyone being harmed. 

On Nov. 10, 2021, officers responded to reports of a suspect smashing car windows with a gun. Upon arrival, officers observed Dashawn Bashir Smith-Murphy, 27, of Trenton, standing next to a black shotgun. Officers used their new de-escalation training to disarm and take Smith-Murphy into custody without anyone being harmed.

On Oct. 16, 2021, officers were dispatched to 590 New York Avenue after receiving reports of a man with a firearm holding a woman captive. Officers surrounded the apartment and conducted negotiations, which resulted in Eric Hardmon, 37, of Bronx, NY, opening the door and being taken into custody without incident. Officers entered the apartment and located a female inside the bathroom unharmed. 

“The TPD is committed to using every resource available to peacefully resolve criminal disturbances, and it wasn’t long before our officers started taking advantage of the training they just started over a month ago,” said Acting Director Wilson. “These are the types of situations where this training is incredibly useful and can help achieve the best possible outcome for both our officers and the residents they are sworn to protect.”

The TPD started de-escalation and active bystandership training programs at Mercer County Community College this Fall. One of the training programs is Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT). ICAT is a training guide for diffusing critical incidents. It provides responding police officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to safely defuse a range of critical incidents. ICAT instructs officers on critical thinking, crisis intervention, communications, and tactics. 

The second training program is the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE). This program seeks to create a law enforcement culture that supports peer intervention. ABLE training promotes the idea that it is the responsibility of every officer to act to prevent mistakes, address misconduct, and promote their fellow officers’ health and well-being.