Course Description

Verbal De-escalation training provides public safety professionals with time-tested communication skills proven to help de-escalate volatile situations, safeguard fellow officers’ well-being, and significantly enhance the agency's professional image. At the heart of verbal de-escalation is the officer’s ability to recognize the utility of various kinds of verbal appeals, based on the totality of circumstances that they confront. 

Chief Dolan’s Rhetorical Continuum provides public safety personnel with a range of response options that are applied to the situation in proportion to the citizen’s level of verbal resistance. Grounded in the principles of persuasion articulated by the Greek philosopher Aristotle in 335 B.C., the Rhetorical Continuum walks officers through the use of the three fundamental methods of strategic verbal persuasion.

In this two hour webinar, Chief Harry P. Dolan (ret.) will walk attendees through these 3 methods of persuasion—Ethos (the ethical appeal), Logos (the logical appeal) and Pathos (the emotional appeal)—to employ in response to the level of verbal resistance that they encounter in the field. By using the techniques contained in this continuum, officers will be equipped with the verbal skills to exhaust all reasonable verbal de-escalation options in the field before taking action—whether in the form of physical restraint or disengagement.


CEO, Dolan Consulting Group

| Chief Harry Dolan (Ret.)

Harry P. Dolan is a 32-year police veteran who served as a Chief of Police since 1987. As one of the nation's most experienced police chiefs, he brings 25 years of public safety executive experience to Dolan Consulting Group. He retired in October 2012 as Chief of Police of the Raleigh (N.C.) Police Department, an agency comprised of nearly 900 employees in America's 42nd largest city.

Chief Dolan began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a deputy sheriff in Asheville, North Carolina and served there until early 1982, when he joined the Raleigh Police Department, where he served as a patrol officer. In 1987, he was appointed Chief of Police for the N.C. Department of Human Resources Police Department, located in Black Mountain. He served as Chief of Police in Lumberton, N.C. from 1992 until 1998, when he became Chief of Police of the Grand Rapids, Michigan Police Department. He served in that capacity for nearly ten years before becoming Chief of the Raleigh Police Department in September 2007. As Chief, he raised the bar at every organization and left each in a better position to both achieve and sustain success.

Harry Dolan has lectured throughout the United States and has trained thousands of public safety professionals in the fields of Leadership & Management, Communications Skills, and Community Policing. Past participants have consistently described Chief Dolan's presentations as career changing, characterized by his sense of humor and unique ability to maintain participants' interest throughout his training sessions. Chief Dolan's demonstrated ability to connect with his clientele and deliver insightful instruction all with uncompromising principles will be of tremendous value in the private sector.

Chief Dolan's unbridled passion to achieve service-excellence is a driving force behind Dolan Consulting Group. He is a graduate of Western Carolina University and holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Before You Start

    • Consent Questions

  • 2


    • Why Every Cop Needs to Understand the Rhetorical Continuum | Hour 1

    • Why Every Cop Needs to Understand the Rhetorical Continuum | Hour 2