Law enforcement officers in New Jersey’s Warren County recently teamed with mental health professionals for a weeklong crisis intervention course.
The course was designed to help officers learn “how to recognize and respond to mental illness and psychiatric emergencies,” according to Lehigh Valley Live.
The first of its kind in Warren County, the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training focused on forging a closer relationship between police officers and mental health care providers. It gives police, who are often the first on scene, information about the services available to them while improving the changes of a positive outcome in a psychiatric crisis situation.
… For five days last week, mental health professionals, 911 dispatchers and officers from several police departments gathered in the Washington Township Municipal Building in Warren County.
They heard stories from those afflicted with mental illness, role-played possible crisis situations and learned about a variety of mental disorders. Each was taught de-escalation skills and how to recognize people with mental illnesses and adjust their tactics accordingly.’
“When you’re there one-on-one with that person, there is a sense of: ‘Am I going to be able to help this person?'” Pohatcong Township police officer Bobby Paulus told Lehigh Valley Live. “For that officer, this is huge. Now, they don’t have that sense.”
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