AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A free de-escalation training is being conducted by the University of Massachusetts Police Department (UMPD) through Wednesday.

According to a news release from UMass Amherst, the training helps extend local officers’ education by building skills for tactful communication, reducing liability, building rapport, and potentially saving lives.

A grant from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) enabled the start of this program. These DOJ COPS de-escalation grants allow training support, policies and procedures that encourage a de-escalation mindset, and other organizational change efforts.

Other efforts help the culture of de-escalation within an agency be created. Upon completion of the 24-hour course officers receive a two-year training certification.