7 graduate from Pine Belt CIT course

7 graduate from week-long Crisis Intervention Team training class
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:30 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Pine Belt Crisis Intervention Team hosted its 64th graduation ceremony Friday at the Lamar County Courthouse.

Seven graduated from the course, representing different law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other public offices.

The 40-hour course held over a week trains graduates to handle and de-escalate mental health crises.

Pine Belt Mental Health Care Resources Coordinator Samantha Mahler said it was important for law enforcement to undergo this training to ensure the safety of the officer and the person having a crisis.

“It’s important that when someone is in a crisis that the person who responds to them may know the signs and symptoms of what is going on with that person in order to get them help and in order to de-escalate them so they would know what not to do that would cause the situation to get worse,” Mahler said.

Pearl River County Public Defender’s Office Investigator Chandler Jones was a Friday graduate, and said it’s a huge accomplishment to be able to graduate the CIT course.

“Throughout the entire week, I’ve learned patience, word-usage and there’s several calls that I’ve been on that I wish I could get back,” Jones said.

The Pine Belt Crisis Intervention Team hosts classes once a month at various locations statewide.

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