A few police agencies in the U.S. have begun rewarding officers for showing restraint in the line of duty, putting the tactic on par with bravery.

More than 40 Philadelphia officers have received awards since December for defusing conflicts without shooting, clubbing or otherwise using maximum force against anyone.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently created a Preservation of Life award.

And later this year, the U.S. Justice Department's new Community Policing Awards will recognize officers who prevent tense situations from spinning out of control.

The honors reflect an increasing emphasis on what is known as "de-escalation" in police work. But some critics warn that the trend could lead officers to hesitate in life-threatening situations.