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Pasadena Police Partner with Tech Startup to Develop New De-Escalation Training Tool

Published on Friday, June 26, 2020 | 3:30 am
Pasadena police interact with a man they are taking into custody during an incident on June 19, 2020. Photo by Eddie Rivera

Pasadena police are working with an Irvine-base tech company to develop a new tool to better help officers train in de-escalation techniques to reduce incidents of use of force, the company announced Thursday.

The Pasadena Police Officers’ Association authored a letter earlier this month affirming the organization’s dedication to de-escalation training. The PPOA also announced that it would be working with the tech company.

“The PPOA Law Enforcement Consultant Peter Mitchell and Performa Labs (a Cie company) launched a pilot program with the PPOA and PPD: to lend real-world expertise in creating a technology-based training tool focused on de-escalation, keeping in mind the safety of the Community and Officers as the highest priorities,” according to the PPOA statement.

Performa confirmed the partnership Thursday.

“In light of current events, the timing of Performa Labs’ recent $3 milloin seed funding is a positive signal toward creating a training tool that police departments can utilize to improve the training of its officers and increase the overall safety of the community,” Performa said in a statement.

The training tool will be an inexpensive mobile system focusing on neuro-cognitive training, Mitchell said. He declined to describe the details of the system and how it will be used at the present stage of development, but added that it may be ready to display in the coming months.

“This is just one more tool that allows police officers to train their skills,” Mitchell said.

“It fills a niche,” he added. “It’s not replacing any of the other good training out there.”

The project falls in line with the department’s goals of improving training and emphasizing de-escalation during confrontations, Mitchell said.

Cie co-founder and CEO Anderee Berengian said he hoped to have a positive effect on society through the project.

“We are looking forward to the impact on public safety we can influence by investing Cie’s expertise and resources in Performa Labs. This technology has profoundly important goals,” he said.

Yasuto Suga, who serves as entrepreneur-in-residence at Cie and as CEO of Performa Labs said he takes pride in the endeavor.

“We are committed to improving the public’s well-being,” he said. “We are proud that our software will improve training and increase overall safety for everyone.”

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