Thirty officers gathered at the Rosecrance Berry Campus in Rockford to take part in Crisis Intervention Training.
The training began Monday, February 25, and will go to March 1. The forty-hour course is designed for officers who respond to crisis calls involving individuals with mental illness. During the training, officers will be shown the basic dynamics of common mental illnesses, helping them to make quick decisions in an effort to resolve the crisis at hand.
"Law enforcement officers are generally the first responders to crisis events. It is important to have officers who can utilize effective strategies to appropriately respond to persons with behavioral health disorders and their families," Jean Morrow, President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Northern Illinois, said.
Officers will also hear from individuals with mental illness and their family members, who will share their experiences, viewpoints, and concerns. Professional actors will also present real-life scenarios.
Crisis Intervention Teams were founded in northern Illinois in 2004. Since then, 232 officers with 21 departments have been trained.