PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Law enforcement officers from around the Pine Belt graduated on Friday from their course in the Crisis Intervention Team training.
The class certifies each officer and other individuals to be a member of their agency’s CIT and prepares them to respond to crisis situations that they might encounter on a daily basis.
Pine Belt Regional CIT Coordinator, Linda Foley, says the program keeps growing each year because area departments see the value of this specialized training.
“The officers that have been on the streets for a long time, say they wish they had had it twenty-years ago,” Foley said. “It’s very important to officer’s safety so that when they’re on the streets and they encounter a crisis situation, they can successfully de-escalate it.”
Foley said it’s also an asset for officers to know all available options to them so they can offer specialized help to those individuals that need it.
She added that the focus isn’t just on patients with mental illness, but anyone in a crisis that needs help.
This was the largest graduating CIT class with 19 officers completing the 40-hour course.