Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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Lincoln police officers certified with special training

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[February 02, 2010]  Five Lincoln police officers received state certification after attending a 40-hour course titled "Crisis Intervention Team." According to Deputy Chief Michael Geriets, who also attended the training, the course is designed to provide officers with specialized training on dealing with individuals in the community who have mental illnesses or other behavioral disabilities. CIT officers are trained as resource specialists who can provide an immediate response to calls involving a mental health crisis.

InsuranceAn essential part of the CIT course is scenario-based skills training that challenged officers with realistic scenarios portrayed by professional actors from Chicago and St. Louis.

"As soon as I walked into the room or situation, it did not seem like a scenario; it was as real as it gets," Geriets said.

Officers were trained in a number of topics: signs and symptoms of autism, mental illness, mental retardation, child and adolescent disorders, geriatric issues, substance abuse, and intervention strategies.

According to Geriets, this training is necessary for officers "to help determine in some cases whether a person is suffering from some sort of mental illness versus being defiant."

"My goal is to see that every officer on the Lincoln Police Department receives this valuable training in the future," he said.

[Text from file received from the Lincoln Police Department]

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