Local police train for crisis intervention

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:49 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Some law enforcement officials are learning what to do when they respond to a mental health crisis call.

Several officers in Jefferson County are taking 40 hours of crisis intervention training this week.

This means officers are learning how to de-escalate situations. this could be as simple as learning how to properly approach someone who is having a mental health crisis.

Officials with the Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration say the training helps to prevent traumatic interactions, like police brutality, and reduce incarcerations.

“The research clearly shows that individuals with serious mental illness experience increased uses of force when it comes to interactions of law enforcement, so this training is one approach to hopefully directly address that,” said Dr. Don Kamin, institute director.

The training was made possible through a collaboration with the New York State Office of Mental Health.