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The Police Department will reach a major training milestone this week, as 100 percent of the sworn officers within the department will have received crisis intervention training.
The training is provided by Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services, which has been training first responders in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques since 2013.
“By the end of the week, 100 percent of the department’s officers will be certified,” said Sgt. Stan Moorefield of the Police Department’s services and training division. “It has taken us seven years to get to this point.”
Each session of the program lasts five days, with each day consisting of eight hours of class instruction.
Melanie Tosh, director of adult clinical services for Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services, said the training is intense.
“We cover various topics from learning about symptoms of mental illness to self-care for police officers and first responders,” Tosh said. “We look at the legal aspects of the mental health system.”
Tosh said mental health clinicians participate as well so that they can get an idea of what officers deal with on a daily basis.”
The class is geared toward law enforcement, but other first responders such as emergency medical services, firefighters or even security officers can take the course.
Moorefield said the training works.
“It allows us to interact with individuals and make a determination if they further assistance from a local community agency or whether we need to seek hospitalization.”