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This Kansas Police Department Is Training Officers On How To Intervene And De-escalate

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Two Kansas City Police officers have been indicted for felony excessive force in the beating of Breona Hill in May 2019.
Phone video
In a screen shot taken from an eyewitness video, two Kansas City Police officers are seen subduing Breona Hill in May 2019. The officers were later charged with assault for the excessive force used.

Before the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020, the police department of Topeka, Kansas, was already looking at ways to change its training regarding excessive force and individuals in crisis.

In November 2020 Up To Date spoke with the chief of Topeka's police force about a pilot program aimed at offering officers ways to step in to prevent and stop excessive force. We get an update on the ABLE program and learn about the department's Behavioral Health Unit that responds to calls involving individuals with mental illness.

  • Lt. Manuel Muñoz, executive officer in the Topeka Police Department
  • Sgt. Josh Klamm, supervisor of the Topeka Police Department Behavioral Health Unit.
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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
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