Friday was graduation day for 11 City of Lincolnton police officers and five Emergency Medical Service workers who participated in a week-long program of Crisis Intervention Training.
As much as a SWAT team (special weapons and tactics) is important in some situations, in others the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) is just as important or perhaps more so. Police and emergency personnel often have to deal with individuals who are experiencing mental problems Some are mentally ill; others are just having a bad reaction to circumstances. They also have to deal at times with persons with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this 40-hour course was to train them better in how to handle such occasions. The training may help to avoid more drastic outcomes both for the person who may have committed a crime and for victims or potential victims.
Some of those who took the course Jan. 12-16 had already undergone a previously offer 16-hour course, but all agreed that the additional training will better equip them for handling such situations.
Prior to the course, a test was given to see how much the officers and emergency workers knew about dealing with persons with mental problems or developmental disabilities. A similar test was given at the end of the course on Friday. Most of the scores improved significantly, and none of those taking the test on Friday scored under 90%.
Stacy Bryant, Communication Officer with Partners Behavioral Health Management praised the group for taking the time to learn new skills. Karen Creech of Partners taught the class and is planning others for Lincoln, Gaston and Cleveland counties.
Those completing the class from the Lincolnton Police Dept. were Det. Lt. Jason Munday, Captain Brian Greene, Lt. Dwite Shehan, Det. Robert "Trey" Hayes III, Lt. Robert A. Hallman, William Heavner, Tiffany Cline, Dylan Beard, Isaiah Matthews, Derek Thom and Jennifer Green.
EMS personnel completing the training were Chad A. Parlier, Nicole Mesmer, Jeffrey Hill, Michelle Padgett and Kimberly Green.
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