As the body count rises – nearly 1,800 civilians fatally shot by police nationwide the past two years – a growing number of law enforcement agencies are retraining their officers to minimize their use of force.

Police are being trained on how to de-escalate volatile situations and make smart use of their firearms. It’s part of a policy and cultural shift intended to avoid the Ferguson-type scenarios that have rocked city after city the past couple of years.

“Police departments really need to embrace this and get in front of this,” said Paul O’Connell, a policing consultant and professor of criminal justice at Iona College.

Buffalo, however, is lagging behind this shift in American policing, an analysis by Investigative Post has found.

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