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Valley police, fire to get special training this week

Officers from police and fire departments from all over the Valley will get some special training this week.

They’ll be collaborating to hold a Crisis Intervention Team training course.

“Part of the training includes engagement and de-escalation,” said Tracey Wilkinson, a civilian employee with the Scottsdale Police Department who is the Coordinator of the Scottsdale PD Crisis Intervention Team. “A large component and a very important component of the program is for officers to hear personal perspectives and family perspectives of individuals who are living with a mental illness.”

“We will also be having officers attend from the Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert police departments,” Wilkinson said.

“The Buckeye Police Department will be attending, Surprise Police Department will be attending, and I believe Goodyear. We will also have two deputies from Yavapai County attending.”

The officers will get 40 hours of training this week.

“The officers are there Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., said Wilkinson. “Friday’s training is predominantly scenario based, so it’s actual role plays and officer responses.”

But this week is just the start for the officers’ training.

“They have ongoing continuing education and continued training throughout their career as law enforcement personnel,” Wilkinson said.

The Crisis Intervention Team program started in Memphis in 1988 and is designed to help those with Mental Health Disorders to get the medical treatment they need and have less of a chance of winding up in jail.

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