HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Crisis situations, de-escalation techniques and intervention strategies are a few procedures Hattiesburg first responders learned Monday.
Police, firefighters, and other authorities participated in the Pine Belt Crisis Intervention Training seminar at the Hattiesburg Police and Fire training academy.
Over the course of one week, 16 officers will learn how to keep people suffering from mental illnesses out of jail.
“The purpose of the CIT program is to reduce officer injury, reduce consumer injuries, increase public safety and reduce incarceration of the mentally ill," said Pine Belt Regional Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator, Linda Foley.
The program training requires officers to listen to mental illness lectures, engage in situational activities and more for 40 hours to become certified CIT trainers.
“This class is going to give our officers the tools to deal with those individuals in mental crisis and get them to where to where they need to be and get them the help that they need to keep our citizens safe,” said HPD Spokeswoman, Latosha Meyers.