ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Many law enforcement agencies in Georgia are continuing to focus on ensuring that officers know when to de-escalate a situation and when to use force.
On Friday, police officers from several parts of South Georgia got together to further their knowledge in that area, along with learning a tactic to reduce crime in their communities.
"The last thing we want to do in this line of work is take a human life," said Sycamore Police Chief Bill Ryder, who joined with Ashburn Police to host the two-part training.
Ryder explained he believes the end goal of training like this is to lower officer-involved shootings.
"It's better if we can apprehend somebody and talk 'em into the police car, rather than have to take a human life," Chief Ryder said.
Police officers and chiefs from Tifton, Poulan, Omega, Ashburn and Sycamore attended.
Ashburn Police Captain Richard Purvis said though force is necessary sometimes, it's important officers learn the difference between when to use force and when to talk a suspect or subject down.
"If the opportunity presents itself where you can maybe take the time to maybe scale it back just a little bit, talk with the person, your use of force goes down," said Capt. Purvis.
The instructor discussed with the officers a possible solution as well: community policing.
Officers are encouraged to have a cup of coffee with a citizen or get out and do patrols to get to know the people they serve.
It's all in hopes of diminishing crime.
"We're investing in our community, and so they're going to invest back in us and they're going to trust us," said Ryder.
It's required by Georgia law that officers train for use of force and de-escalation once a year.
Ashburn and Sycamore Police hope to begin hosting this training for area police departments twice a year.