As the latest volley in Sheriff Scott Mascher’s effort to stop what he calls “the criminalizing the treatment of mental health,” the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office teamed with other agencies to hold a five-day training session to instruct law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, mental health, and substance abuse.
“The crisis intervention team (CIT) model is a collaborative approach which safely and effectively addresses the needs of those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, links them to appropriate services, and diverts them from the criminal justice system where appropriate,” said Deputy Scott Reed, spokesman for the YCSO.
A total of 31 officers, representing the YCSO, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Yavapai Apache Nation police departments, attended the session, held from Oct. 23-27.
“YCSO Chief Deputy David Rhodes and Prescott Police Assistant Chief Amy Bonney were instrumental in developing the training and arranged facilitators based on best practice models instituted around the U.S.,” Reed said. “This is the second round of training conducted in western Yavapai County and has the additional goal of linking first responders to resources.”
Reed explained that crisis intervention training “is about developing partnerships, relationships, communication skills, de-escalation skills and understanding mental health issues.