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Home Sessions De-Escalation: Tips on Defusing Toxic Encounters

De-Escalation: Tips on Defusing Toxic Encounters


Apr 29, 2023


3:15 pm - 4:00 pm


Facility Design‚ Use‚ and Safety

Words matter!

What we say and how we say it can be the difference between an argument and voluntary compliance. The words we choose, our tone, pitch, and volume, along with our non-verbal cues, can further our communications and interactions and, in the case of a toxic situation, defuse it in a positive manner.

Based on proven conflict de-escalation principles, this entertaining 45-minute class covers:

  • The biggest obstacles to effective communications
  • Why you might be the difficult person!
  • Ten phrases you should never use
  • Why others do not hear what we say
  • How to establish a link and build rapport between you and an angry individual
  • How to end an angry rant
  • Techniques that will help you protect yourself from complaints

This class is applicable to any person in a service capacity. It is also relevant for dealing with spouses, kids, work colleagues, etc.


  • Daniel Dusseau
    Daniel Dusseau
    Safety & Security Leader at Covenant Community of Jesus The Good Shepherd Church, and Chief of Police (retired)

    Dan Dusseau is a nationally recognized leader in policing and campus safety. His thirty-six years of experience in police, emergency management and security have provided him a well-rounded perspective. During his career with a large urban department, the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Police Department, he served in and supervised patrol, detectives, homicide, internal affairs, academy training, recruitment, information technology and others, rising to the rank of Major.
    Upon retiring from Prince George’s County, Dan was selected as the Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). NOVA is the largest college in Virginia and one of the largest and most diverse in the U.S. During his NOVA tenure, safety and security systems, equipment, drills, community outreach and training were consolidated and improved. As a result, safety and security at the multi-campus college were successfully transitioned into a centralized, well-prepared organization, with a highly regarded safety department which played the leading role in reducing reported crime on campus by 90% and in establishing a culture of safety. Dan also helped develop the investigative and protective protocols and planning and was recognized by the US Secret Service for his work in ensuring the safety and security of the First Lady of the United States during her employment at NOVA.
    Dan also extends his expertise to houses of worship, businesses, and other venues. He is active in his church where he established and serves on a safety and security committee, organized and coordinates a volunteer security ministry, and conducts safety briefings for parishioners. Additionally, Dan serves on the church service board, is a Eucharistic Minister, volunteers as safety and security advisor for a county inter-faith council, taught Children’s Faith Formation and is a former president of a non-profit, Police Officer Ministries.
    Upon retiring from law enforcement in 2023, Dan founded Dusseau Solutions. The company specializes in realistic assessments of all-hazard threats and developing workable and empowering, cost-effective plans that maximize hazard prevention, response, mitigation and recovery for houses of worship.

  • John Weinstein
    John Weinstein
    Security Planning Coordinator at Community Baptist Church, and Police Lieutenant, retired

    Lt. John Weinstein, PhD, is a retired Commander of Strategic Planning and Outreach at Northern Virginia Community College. Before retiring, he accumulated extensive law enforcement experience as a deputy sheriff, patrol officer, town sergeant, and chief of police. Dr. Weinstein has extensive teaching, program assessment and training experience in all aspects of planning and security operations, including firearms, active incident response tactics, mental health training, planning, and communications. He is also certified as an active incident response instructor, a Verbal Judo trainer, and a Crisis Intervention Team trainer. He lectures frequently on conflict avoidance and de-escalation.
    Prior to his retirement from law enforcement, Dr. Weinstein spent almost 30 years as a leading Department of Defense official where he was responsible for assessing the safety, security and control of US nuclear weapons. He was responsible for writing an annual report to the President of the United States.
    Currently, Dr. Weinstein is his church’s security planning coordinator. In addition to developing all-hazards safety and security plans, he provides monthly presentations on various security topics, such as active shooter response, dealing with difficult people, dealing with mental health issues, and staying safe in the community. He also consults on church security matters with Dusseau Solutions, LLC.
    Weinstein holds a doctorate in International Politics. He is widely published on many law enforcement and defense topics. His articles have appeared in Campus Safety magazine, the Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and The Police Chief, the International Association of Chiefs of Police monthly publication.


Christ Lutheran Fellowship Hall