Crisis intervention training prepares law enforcement for real life situations

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(ABC 6 News) – There is important training happening this week that ensures local law enforcement is prepared to respond to people in crisis.

Crisis Intervention Training, or CIT is intensive. This training includes both classroom sessions and interactive role play scenarios

The four-day program ensures RPD officers and Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputies meet national standards and are prepared for unpredictable situations.

“You need to know how to talk to people, that’s part of the reason I wanted to be a part of this class,” CIT student John Davis said.

The training is hosted by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and Rochester Police Department.

“It’s exhausting, I think anyone that’s in the class will probably tell you at the end of the week the most exhausting part of it is the role plays,” CIT coordinator Megan Schueller said.

The role plays are different scenarios officers and deputies might face while on the job and they learn tactics on how to de-escalate the situation.

“Skills like this work much better than you know having to escalate the situation,” Davis said.

Knowing that in the real world, they never know what situations they may end up in.

“It’s really great to see them progress through the scenario, learn to apply the skills that we’ve talked about in class, and then provide that safe outcome for that person involved,” CIT coordinator Tim Condon said.

70% of employees are CIT certified and the program here is one of the few self-sustaining CIT programs in the state.

Besides training, it also focuses on collaboration efforts between law enforcement, social services, and community organizations.