An innovative, evidence-based approach to use-of-force training, ICAT provides first responding police officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to defuse a range of critical incidents successfully and safely. ICAT was developed by PERF with input from hundreds of law enforcement professionals nationwide. It is currently being taught in police agencies of all sizes and in all parts of the country.

ICAT focuses on situations involving persons in crisis and those who are unarmed or armed with weapons other than firearms. The training program is anchored by the Critical Decision-Making Model that helps officers assess situations, make safe and effective decisions, and document and learn from their actions.  ICAT incorporates different skill sets into a unified training approach that emphasizes scenario-based exercises, as well as lecture and case study opportunities.

Watch the video below to learn more about ICAT and the PERF National ICAT Training Center:



The ICAT training program consists of seven modules:

Module 1: Introduction  This module provides an overview of the ICAT program and how it was developed.

Module 2: The Critical Decision-Making Model  This module teaches the Critical Decision-Making Model (CDM), which is the backbone of the entire ICAT program. Instructors cover the five steps of the CDM – collect information; assess situation, threats, and risks; consider police powers and agency policy; identify options, determine best course of action; and act, review, and re-assess – as well as the CDM "core," which includes an agency's mission statement, values, ethics, and guiding principles.

Module 3: Crisis Recognition  In this module, officers learn how to identify those experiencing a crisis. Topics include mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and contributing factors to a crisis.

Module 4: Tactical Communications – This module provides guidance on interacting with those in crisis. It discusses verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, and making a connection.

Module 5: Suicide by Cop – This module addresses "suicide-by-cop" incidents, meaning those in which a person attempts to die by suicide by forcing an officer to use lethal force. It includes guidance on recognizing and responding to these incidents, including advice about what to say to the individual.

Module 6: Operational Tactics – In this module, instructors discuss tactical considerations before, during, and after a critical incident. Topics include developing a working strategy, using good positioning and teamwork during an incident, and debriefing after an incident.

Module 7: Step Up and Step In – The final module provides officers with guidance on how they might prevent problems before they occur. This may include intervening when a colleague is about to make a mistake or speaking up about a plan they think is more likely to safely resolve a situation.


ICAT Implementation Guide

In 2023, PERF published a guide to implementing the ICAT Training Program in your agency. This guide includes an overview of the ICAT Training Program, recommendations for making ICAT work in your agency, and four case studies of agencies that have implemented ICAT. The full report, Implementing the ICAT Training Program at Your Agency, is available here.



In 2020, the IACP/University of Cincinnati Center for Police Research and Policy published an evaluation of ICAT training in the Louisville Metro Police Department. The researchers found that more than 80 percent of officers expressed satisfaction with the training and said the training was useful to them. And they found that the training was associated with a 28 percent reduction in use-of-force incidents, a 26 percent reduction in citizen injuries, and a 36 percent reduction in officer injuries.

The full study is available here.


ICAT has been implemented by over 120 law enforcement agencies in more than 30 states. Click here for a list of agencies implementing ICAT.

If your agency is implementing ICAT and is not listed, please contact Jason Cheney at [email protected].

PERF is currently offering two options for implementing ICAT in your agency:

  • Attend an ICAT train-the-trainer course in Decatur, Illinois. PERF is offering regular train-the-trainer sessions at the National ICAT Training Center in Decatur, Illinois. The following sessions are currently available for registration:
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about ICAT's train-the-trainer course in Decatur.
  • Bring PERF to your agency. PERF will come to your agency to either train your trainers or your entire department in ICAT. This will include a follow-up visit for quality control to ensure model fidelity and assist with any implementation challenges. For more information, please contact Tom Wilson at [email protected] or (202) 454-8328 or Jason Cheney at [email protected] or (202) 454-8331.

Access to the ICAT training materials (PowerPoint slides, videos, sample scenarios, etc.) is limited to PERF members and those who have attended an ICAT train-the-trainer course. If you attended a train-the-trainer course and would like access, please contact Dan Alioto at [email protected].

Click here to access the training materials. You will need login credentials to access this page.

For more information about ICAT, please contact Tom Wilson at [email protected] or (202) 454-8328 or Jason Cheney at [email protected] or (202) 454-8331.


Disclaimer: The information and attachments contained in the ICAT Training Guide are designed to be used as a guide to the subject matter covered and should be thoroughly reviewed by your agency’s training academy, legal department and policy unit before implementation in your agency. This substantive agency review is to ensure that the material presented or suggested in this Training Guide conforms to and is consistent with your agency’s policies, training and legal guidelines. For maximum impact and effectiveness, PERF recommends that the Training Guide be implemented in a comprehensive manner, and not in a haphazard, arbitrary or piecemeal way. Further, PERF cautions against announcing and implementing changes in training before all relevant policies, equipment, and other operational considerations have been updated, as needed, to support the training. Accordingly, PERF shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information, in whole or in part, contained in this Training Guide.