AL law enforcement train in mental health crisis intervention

AL law enforcement train in mental health crisis intervention
The crisis intervention class started today and it's being put on by several agencies

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - What took place Wednesday at the D.T. Marshal Firing Range was make-believe. A local actress portrayed a Montgomery County inmate who wants to save the world and visit the White House.

"So I can save you, save me and save the world!" she said.

Remaining calm was the name of the game for Montgomery County Corrections Officers.

It was part of the classroom work for dozens of first responders from around the state. Montgomery Police Officer David Hall is just two years into his career in law enforcement and sees a number of mental health situations on the streets.

"It's a pretty decent amount but some are worse than others.. just all depends on the person," said Officer Hall.

The purpose of the three-day course is to first recognize the symptoms of mental illness, help the person and remove the stigma associated with the disease. The overriding goal is to learn how to get the appropriate help for those in a health crisis.

This is the second year the crisis intervention class has been put on and in light of what's going on today around the country, it's become a timely topic.

"We have one in every five people we encounter that has been diagnosed with a mental problem," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Cedric Leonard.

Timely enough to do role-playing exercises like the one they did Wednesday to prepare for the real thing.

The crisis intervention class is being sponsored by Montgomery County, the sheriff's department, Montgomery police, Montgomery Fire and Rescue, Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority and Baptist Health.

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