skip to Main Content

L.E.A.D.S. – Law Enforcement Active De-escalation Strategies Plus Tactical Options

Course Description: This is a classroom based combat-confrontation avoidance course based upon the L.O.C.K.U.P. ® System. It teaches within a classroom setting how to recognize aggression and to not stimulate aggression. Students will learn communications skills and evidence based Active De-escaltion Strategies that can avoid or resolve interactions by employing tactical de-escalation the techniques, conflict resolution methods and distraction techniques that promote successful tactical applications.  The course also discusses tactical responses when diffusion tactics are inappropriate or ineffective. This program teaches officers how professional communication can  protect officers in the field, reduce civilian complaints as well as civil litigation.  Instruction uses lectures and demonstrations to facilitate learning and retention.

Instructional Objectives:

  • Understanding the principals of risk management for officer safety
  • Identifying indications of hostility through body language
  • Understand police “customer service” methods that yield positive relations
  • Identify professional benefits of active diffusion strategies
  • Learn methods of effective verbal de-escalation strategies
  • Understanding physiological changes during aggression
  • Learn to use cognitive limitations for active diffusion
  • Learn methods to re-direct the thought process through positive direction
  • Learn the importance of professional posturing
  • Identity different communications styles with appropriate response tactics
  • Learn methods of motivational interviewing skills
  • Learn methods of distraction to obtain tactical advantages
  • Learn communication and physical strategies to de-escalate situations
  • Learn how to avoid communications that may be negative
  • Learn how active strategies blend with a total law enforcement presentation

** This course has been reviewed and approved by the United States Department of Justice 

Over 350 Officers of the Hartford CT Police Department Trained in the L.E.A.D.S. Program

There are many training courses that tell officers what to do in certain situation; too few of them show the officers how to do it. The L.E.A.D.S. course fills this void. Through L.E.A.D.S.  training Hartford Police Officers learned how to communicate more effectively; to identify physiological changes that occur when people get angry or hostile; to re-direct thought processes in order to deescalate hostile situations and to respond tactically when verbal diffusion fail. These skills are put to use daily by the men and women of the Hartford Police Department.”

Chief of Police – James C. Rovella
Hartford CT
Feedback Chief Rovella

650 Officers of the St Paul MN Police Department Trained in the L.E.A.D.S. Program

I personally benefited from this training and I would highly recommend it for  officers, police managers and attorneys who defend officers. Thank you for including me and my fellow litigators in this valuable training.”

Judith A. Hanson Assistant City Attorney – City of Saint Paul MN
Letter of Endorsement from Judy Hanson-SP City Atty-Litigation

Your training has been well received by our department and we continue to reap its benefits. Our officers are using L.O.C.K.U.P. with great success.   Across the board, our officers have been able to seamlessly transfer your training from the classroom to the street.  From common contact to hands on arrest techniques, our officers are more professional, confident and effective.  Officer injuries are down, suspect injuries are down, citizen complaints are down and our reports are clear, concise and very well documented.  Likewise, I have seen officers, successfully, employ your LEADS – de-escalations strategies and prevent use of force situations. To say your training is outstanding would be an understatement!  Once again, Thank you for your tireless efforts.  We are all better off as a result.  Stay safe, Hope to see you soon.”

Captain Fred Hall
Enfield CT PD

I should note that as soon as the St Paul Department began to offer L.O.C.K.U.P. courses instructed by Lt Dillon and his staff, members of Law Enforcement Agencies from as far southwest as California and as far northeast as Nova Scotia began to come to St Paul to train.  To date, over 50 Agencies and 2,000 individuals have been trained thru the St Paul Police Professional Development Institute in L.O.C.K.U.P. and L.E.A.D.S. (Law Enforcement Active Diffusion Strategies).  Since 2012, L.E.A.D.S. has been an 8-hour staple of the St Paul Police Department’s 16 week Recruit Academy.  Lt Kevin Dillon and his systems are critical to addressing the concerns of communities and the demands placed on Law Enforcement in the current culture.

Edward L Lemon
Commander-St Paul Police Department    

The L.E.A.D.S. + T program, if widely supported and presented in both recruit and in-service training, will not only increase officer safety, and enhance the standing of our law enforcement officers in their respective communities, helping to re-establish the positive police-citizen relationships essential to effective law enforcement in American society, it will help prevent needless tragedy and loss of life. Finally, the adoption of L.E.A.D.S. + T principles can help forestall needless litigation and the inevitable fiscal burdens on already strained government budgets. Lieutenant Dillon is to be commended for this valuable contribution to protecting our police officers, reducing the need for violent encounters between police and citizens, and thereby enhancing critical community relations.

Stephen R. Sarnoski
Connecticut Assistant Attorney General
Feedback Letter


In my opinion, the L.E.A.D.S. course is the best communications course available.  KD is a dynamic and entertaining instructor, and his experience and depth of knowledge is second to none.  The course breaks down and explains the very complex psychological and physiological processes that occur during volatile incidents into easily understandable concepts and tactics.  This understanding allows the end user to actually apply diffusion strategies and communication tactics in the field.  I definitely recommend this class and I believe that it will benefit your agency and your officers.  Please contact me anytime if you need any additional information.

D/S Richard Doty
Training Coordinator/SWAT Sniper Team Leader
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office FL



Back To Top