Corvallis Police recently completed a new crisis training program to help prepare officers to handle situations with people with behavioural, intellectual and developmental disabilities that can sometimes escalate unnecessarily.
They were one of only three agencies nationwide chosen for the US Department of Justice’s investigation. Crisis intervention and response training (CRIT), and included the Albany Police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t have the opportunity to use these tools and techniques,” Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy Colin Tominey said in a statement. Press releaseabout a training scenario involving a series of interactions with an autistic adult.
The program included topics ranging from mental health, trauma and substance use disorders to the latest insights from subject matter experts and the complexities involved in such cases.
“In law enforcement, we have two choices when responding to someone in crisis: take them to the hospital if they are sick or if they pose a danger to themselves, or take them to jail. if she commits a crime,” Tominey said. said. “We need additional resources, such as a walk-in crisis center and support programs, to provide us with this viable third option.”
Arc of Benton County and the Benton County Health Department have partnered with this program. The pilot will be refined once data is collected from participating departments. Pittsburgh, PA and Rapid City, SD were the other two cities in the pilot program.
The training is an intensive 40-hour training based on the Memphis Model Crisis Response Team training and developed by researchers at the University of Cincinnati and facilitated by Policy Research Associates. The modules ranged from perceptions and attitudes to disruptive disorders and impulse control in youth to suicide, legal considerations, community resources and personality disorders, as well as other scenarios.
By Peggy Perdue