Vandalia’s Interim Police Chief Justin Landis and Patrolmen John Elsass and Logan Benjamin attended a September training event held by the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team’s East-Central Regional group. The group partnered with the Arthur Center in Mexico to provide the CIT training.
According to Laura Heitmann, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Mental Health Liaison for the Arthur Center, the 40-hour Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certified course provides “intensive training in mental illness, mental health resources, and tactical communications with individuals in psychiatric crisis….”
The comprehensive training teaches officers how to deal with a mentally ill citizen, and how to deescalate potentially dangerous situations.
Landis describes the training as invaluable to the department and community.
“The Crisis Intervention Team provides an excellent program with great training and knowledge that law enforcement officers can apply daily in the field. We are proud to have certified CIT officers in Vandalia and I hope to get all officers certified soon,” Landis said.
Heitmann added that officers have “stepped up to ensure that even the most challenging situations police may face have an opportunity to be resolved in the best way for each citizen… while promoting safety and dignity.”
More information about the Missouri CIT group can be found at http://www.missouricit.org/. The Arthur Center Community Health can be found at https://arthurcenter.com/.