Tuesday, 24 May 2011 13:45
Police Training Addresses Mental Health IssuesWritten by John Davis
Law enforcement officers from throughout Southwest Florida are taking part in a two-day training program designed to improve police interactions with people suffering from mental illness. The advanced crisis intervention training covers a variety of issues including hoarding, post traumatic stress disorder, dementia, autism and substance abuse. READ MORE
“It works two-fold for the community and for the officers,” said Fort Myers Police Lieutenant Jay Rodriguez. “The officers don’t get hurt. You can go to calls where you needed three or four officers who really never knew how to speak to someone with a mental disability and now one or two officers can do it.”
Rodriguez, who coordinates the Fort Myers Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team, says it also cuts down on law enforcement costs and resources needed to respond to a crisis. The 100 trainees include Fort Myers and Cape Coral Police, Lee and Collier County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as corrections officers and medical professionals. The program is coordinated by the Fort Myers Police Department and paid for through a federal grant.