Officers Learn to Police Themselves Back Up the RITE Ladder

De-Escalate Calls from the TOP

Officers that escalate unnecessarily or use excessive force, are typically ANGRY about something, and they take it out on others. They are living at the BOTTOM of the Ladder… and little good happens there!

Police trainers in North Carolina learn that everyone of us go up and down the Ladder (sometimes many times a day)… we just don’t want you to LIVE down there. These officers quickly learned that living at the top of their Ladder, is a good place to be, on the job and at home! If you’ve taken one of the RITE (Racial Intelligence Training & Engagement) classes, you know what the Ladder is… and you even have a visor-sized version for your patrol car or refrigerator.

The RITE Ladder is just one of the tools every student in class gets for continued learning. It has 18 ladder rungs, the top rungs being more positive, feel-good places for us to live. The further down you go on the Ladder, the more negative the feeling, which effects you (and potentially everyone around you). Here’s an example:

TOP 5 Rungs of the RITE LADDER

  • Love
  • Gratitude
  • Joy
  • Passion
  • Happiness


  • Anger
  • Hate
  • Jealousy
  • Guilt
  • Fear

Police Officers Don’t have Emotions


The problem is officers are often taught (back in the academy) you must control your emotions at all times. And while you jump from call to call, make sure you take control of the situation (without emotion), and don’t bring it (that non-emotion, that you don’t feel) home with you. Communication gets broken at home when we stop talking.

Police, Fire, Doctors, Lawyers… we ALL have emotions, and those emotions can go up and down… that’s what makes us human beings.

The truth is, police-work can be very taxing to an officer’s mental health. Most typically, officer training dollars are spent on the physical (escalating) aspects of the job like Shooting, Driving, and Fighting.

With 5% of calls being life-threatening to the officer, and 95% being non-life threatening, officers need more tools to de-escalate using their mouths. RITE Training focuses on 95% of police calls.

Indeed continued practice with everything on the officer’s ‘gun’ belt is absolutely needed. But imagine if our officers spent as much time as they do  (shooting, driving, and fighting) and equally spent time learning to communicate with their mouths, using tools like the RITE Ladder. Awareness is key to any change. The RITE Awareness Ladder helps us climb up to a better emotion, on the job and at home.

The price of training becomes costly to the department and the City, when officer wellness is cut. We must take officer wellness seriously… their career resiliency depends on it!


RITE Training helps de-escalate 95% of calls. Unique cultural diversity with EI & SI improves communication, builds Career resiliency, and improves Department morale. See our EVENTS page for a training near you, or become a Host site! Contact us about TRAINING for your agency.