Getting Curious in the Face of Conflict: How to Use Targeted Questions to Control Escalation

June 8, 2021
1:00pm - 2:15pm

Law Enforcement officers confront conflict every day. Having the skills and understanding to handle it effectively, and most importantly, safely, is essential. The conflict resolution skill-set for law enforcement, Insight Policing, teaches that curiosity goes a long way. Learning to ask targeted questions that get at the root of why a person is aggressive, resistant or non-compliant, can help officers control an escalating situation, get to the root of challenging interactions quickly, and devise targeted solutions that encourage compliance and build trust– an asset in all areas of enforcement.

In this session, participants will learn:

  • A framework for understanding conflict decision making
  • How curiosity can de-escalate tense encounters
  • Essential questions for handling conflict effectively


Captain Easton McDonald is currently the Assistant Division Commander overseeing the Operation Support Division at the Loudoun County (VA) Sheriff’s Office. He began his career in Bergen County, NJ, in 1997 at the Juvenile Detention Center. In his 23 years in law enforcement, he has served as a corrections officer, on patrol, as a community policing officer, a school resource officer, an academy trainer, an emergency manager (OEM), and a supervisor.  Capt. McDonald has been a certified Law enforcement Instructor since 1998 and is an active member of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), where he is currently President of the Northern Virginia chapter. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course #143.

Megan Price, Ph.D. is Founder and Director of the Center for Applied Insight Conflict Resolution (CAICR). She is an expert in the Insight approach to conflict analysis and resolution, which explains how conflict affects decision-making and how targeted curiosity can turn adversity into opportunity. Her research and practice focus on designing reliable, context-based solutions to conflict, from the interpersonal to the organizational to the social. Dr. Price specializes in Insight Policing: Conflict Resolution for Law Enforcement, which brings a conflict skill-set to challenging police-community interactions for effective problem-solving and trust-building. Dr. Price teaches Conflict Resolution at the Master’s level at George Mason University in Virginia and Royal Roads University in British Columbia.