Crisis intervention training begins

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The supervisors received an update about Crisis Intervention Team training being held in the Southeast Iowa Link mental health region, which Washington County is a part of.

Elley Gould, jail alternatives coordinator said, there are 12 instructors, who are officers in the region ? four of them are in Washington County.

?Two [are] from the sheriff?s office and two [are] from the police department, she added.

Washington County sheriff deputy Brandon Hamilton attended a Crisis Intervention Training in Johnson County March 19-21.

?It?s still relatively new,? Hamilton said. ?Some of the things you get out of training definitely improve your active listening skills when dealing people when they?re in crisis.?

You recognize different mental health disorders based on signs from the symptoms, he added.

?And you can definitely sit in that training and reflect on past calls where you could have handled that differently and gotten a better outcome,? Hamilton said.

He hasn?t had to use the training yet with someone in crisis, but knows of another situation where a deputy used what they learned from Crisis Intervention Training in a situation, which Hamilton called successful because they were able to get that person to the hospital.

?It does help you in interviewing and just talking to people in general, so it?s a beneficial training and I would recommend that people do go through it,? he added.

The first Crisis Intervention Training in the region will be Oct. 22-26, Gould said. It will be a 40-hour CIT training centrally located in the region for all emergency responders.

?Our goal is to have that two to three times a year to get everyone trained,? she added. ?Then we will do maintenance trainings after that.?

Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. commended Gould on the job she?s done in the region.

He is a board member for SEIL and has only heard good thoughts about the training Gould is doing with crisis intervention.

?It?s a role that definitely needs our attention and she?s doing a good job,? Seward said.

Washington County attorney John Gish said he agrees with Seward. He said the county should be thankful and grateful for having a CIT program.

?I think it has a dual benefit,? Gish said. ?One, of improving the community ? improving the lives of the community; and two, as far as I?m concerned, reducing liability.?