‘Calm. Cool. Comply.' Stratford PD’s PEP program to go national

A program developed by the Stratford Police Department to help make police stops safer will soon be used by other police departments across the country.
The PEP, or Police Engagement Program, aims to educate the public as well as police officers on how to deescalate and diffuse potentially explosive situations – especially those involving young people.
"This program is really about open dialogue between the community and the police officers," says Stratford Police Chief Joseph McNeil.
He says the program has been so effective, that other departments across the country will soon be using it as a model.
"The time to fight or argue is really not at the stop; it's really afterwards,” says McNeil. “We give you the pieces you need to file a complaint and how that process works."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the Stratford Police Department is helping to save lives by stressing the importance of things like the "calm, cool and comply" concept during police stops.
"The mixture of kids and cops can be a tense and possibly even toxic, but this program deescalates, it diffuses, and it brings together community leaders,” says the senator.