Law enforcement in Sebastian County is being trained in deescalating situations involving a person with a mental illness.
The Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center is hosting crisis intervention training for those with the Fort Smith Police Department, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office and dispatch through Friday.
The goal is for officers to learn how to identify a person with mental illness and address their needs by taking them to the county’s Crisis Stabilization Unit.
“If they’re able to recognize the signs of mental illness and get that person the help they need, that person doesn’t end up in jail unnecessarily and they also then get the opportunity to treat their illness,” said Joey Potts, Five West Crisis Unit director.
This was the first class held by Sebastian County crisis intervention trainers. They hope to hold the training sessions quarterly.