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Erie County Central Police Services, partners to host crisis intervention team training course

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Mon, Sep 25th 2017 11:50 am
Over 70 participants from 12 agencies enrolled; training focuses on dealing with individuals with mental illness
The Erie County Department of Central Police Services, in partnership with Erie County Crisis Services and the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department, will host a one-day crisis intervention-training course designed for 911 call takers and dispatchers. The event will be hosted at the Cheektowaga Police Department. Offered at no cost to participants, the one-day training will be offered on both Tuesday Sept. 26, and Wednesday Sept. 27, to accommodate scheduling for the over 70 participants.
"Every moment is critical when a call is made to 911, so call takers and dispatchers need to have every available tool and an understanding of appropriate resources to assist first responders. This one-day course is designed to provide vital information and best practices in assisting individuals with mental illness, which will help better serve the public," said Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz. "This training is a result of the inter-agency collaboration and dedication to our community by the Cheektowaga Police Department and Erie County Crisis Services."
The training will include sessions on trauma informed care, empathy and communication, mental health and suicide prevention, hallucination simulations, role-playing and identification of resources. The program will be led by crisis services and law enforcement personnel with an expertise in mental health.
"Crisis services is dedicated to providing training for emergency services using the crisis intervention team training model. We strive to provide emergency services personal with excellent training to work with individuals with mental illness, and we focus on collaboration so emergency services always have a number to call when they need assistance," said Kristin Adducci, CIT training coordinator for crisis services. "We are excited about starting this new partnership with central police services, and look forward to assisting dispatchers and call takers in the future."
Town of Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack said, "The goal of crisis intervention training is to improve the outcomes of police interactions with those persons living with mental illness. By doing this, we protect our officers, the consumers and their family members, and our community as a whole. Public safety dispatchers are often the initial contact when a call for service is generated for an individual in crisis. This training will enable dispatchers to recognize and understand the symptoms of mental illness and provide resources to assist those in crisis. Dispatchers will also be trained to deescalate a situation even before the police officer arrives, making the likelihood of a successful interaction even greater.
"The Town of Cheektowaga Police Department is proud to host and participate in this most valuable training."
For more information on the Erie County Department of Central Police Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/cps/; or on crisis services, visit http://crisisservices.org/.

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