Local Officers Train For Mental Illness Scenarios

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Thu, May 16 2013 at 6:07 PM, Updated: Thu, May 16 2013 at 7:45 PM

25 officers from various valley agencies have been participating in a mental illness - crisis intervention class all week long.

"We're learning about various mental illnesses and some of the best things we can do to deal with someone with a mental illness," said Medford Police Lieutenant.

The class involves several mock exercises, and trying to come up with a solution in front of peers is proving to be a bit difficult.

"It's a little stressful because we are in front of peers and you don't want to screw up," said Medford Detective Diane Sandler.

The exercise also open their eyes and shows how officers from other agencies deal with the mentally ill.

Officers have taken site trips, talking one on one with those with mental illnesses.

"It's opened my eyes. It's been interesting to hear their side and what they think of officers when we arrive on scene," said Sandler.

And it gives them the chance to gain trust.

"It's not about guns or a taser, it's about talking with people."

While only 25 officers are participating in the class this week, officials hope all officers in jackson county will be able to take the course over the next year.

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About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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