Camden County Police Providing ICAT Training

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On Thursday, July 13th, officials at the Camden County Police Department, along with members of the Police Executive Research Forum, welcomed more than 200 law enforcement representatives to Blackwood, New Jersey.

“We are taking a national progressive model with de-escalation and we’re providing the training here from a regional perspective,” said Camden County Police Department Chief Scott Thomson.

The training is called ICAT, which stands for Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics.

ICAT will help police “take volatile situations and make them manageable, allowing more time to make sure that we can keep the officers safe," said retired Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "But at the same time it gives us time to be able to resolve those situations short of having to result to higher levels of force.” 

“At the core, it’s about saving people’s lives," said Lt. Kevin Lutz, of the Camden County Police Department. "I think it’s very important, especially in a setting like this where we have all different agencies together, that we all begin to operate on the same page, and that we’re all thinking with the same type of philosophy.” 

All of our officers have embraced this philosophy and we’re very proud of where we’re at today.

The Camden County Police Department joined a handful of members from other departments across the country in serving as a pilot site for the program.

“Since we started implementing this training, the men and women of this organization, my organization, have responded to 7,913 incidents where someone had a gun," said Thomson. "Of those 7,913 responses, the men and women of my organization have arrested and seized 1,193 people with firearms."

According to Thomson, during those incidents his officers have "only discharged their firearms on five occasions.” 

“All of our numbers are down," said Lutz. "All of our officers have embraced this philosophy and we’re very proud of where we’re at today.” 

After an introduction into the program, members of the Camden County Police Department demonstrated some scenarios for those in attendance to help them better understand how to implement ICAT into their departments.

“We’ve found that we can create this safety if we just look at the approach that we’ve traditionally taken," said Thomson. "[By] slowing things down and maximizing things such as distance and utilizing cover, it will enhance time, and time is our best friend in these aspects.”

Officials at the Camden County Police Department believe that ICAT not only helps to keep both their officers and the public safe, but also helps to create a better relationship between the community and the men and women in blue. 

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