Cambridge Police and Community Leaders Participate in Innovative ICAT Training


Members of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) recently visited the Cambridge Police Department and introduced members of the CPD Command Staff, along with select community leaders and elected officials, to an innovative training that takes the essential building blocks of critical thinking, crisis intervention, communications, and tactics, and puts them together in an integrated approach.  

ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics) is a new training program that provides first responding police officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to successfully and safely defuse a range of critical incidents.  Developed by PERF with input from hundreds of police professionals from across the United States, the Cambridge Police Department is just the second agency in Massachusetts and third in New England to receive the ICAT training.  

“One of the primary purposes of the ICAT training is to help police take volatile situations and make them manageable, allowing more time to make sure that we can keep officers, involved parties and the general public safe," said Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. "At the same time, this training is intended to help officers resolve those situations short of having to result to higher levels of force. After experiencing this innovative training first-hand while I was in Philadelphia, I contacted PERF about bringing it to Cambridge soon after I was appointed Commissioner. This is a natural evolution to the progressive training that the Cambridge Police Department already has in place.” 

Some of the tactics taught to Command Staff officers and instructors, included critically thinking through stressful situations, including encouraging officers to take a tactical pause in non-life threatening situations to evaluate what they might be facing. The training will be rolled out to all of the Department’s sworn officers in early 2019 during its annual In-Service training, which exceeds this year’s requirements set forth by the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) and continues with principles taught during 2018’s In-Service training.  

Prior to rolling out the training Department wide, the Cambridge Police Department invited members of the City of Cambridge’s City Council, Department leaders, and other community leaders from organizations such as the District Attorney’s Office, Police Chaplains, Police Review and Advisory Board, and the Human Rights Commission to participate in an introductory training.

Over the last four years, the Cambridge Police Department began offering its officers Crisis Intervention Team Training to provide the most effective and appropriate response to incidents involving mental health issues. Additionally, it offers officers other progressive training like Trauma-Informed Training, which is designed to help officers understand trauma as it relates to a victim, as well as tools and education to assist in managing their own trauma.


The Cambridge Police Department is committed to the enforcement of laws and preservation of order that protect the rights and property of every person within the City of Cambridge. Our mission is to provide the highest quality of police service and to impact crime, and its associated elements, through the utilization of new and proven crime prevention strategies and problem-solving partnerships with our community.  For more information, follow @CambridgePolice on Twitter, or access the department’s Facebook page at

Visiting CPD

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Cambridge Police Department

Christine Elow
Police Commissioner

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