Greer Police latest to implement mental health crisis training - FOX Carolina 21

Greer Police latest to implement mental health crisis training

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Greer Police to implement critical incident team trained to help mentally ill (FOX Carolina) Greer Police to implement critical incident team trained to help mentally ill (FOX Carolina)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greer Police are stepping up their game when it comes to dealing with people with mental illness.

"We feel like we need to offer a higher level of service for these types of calls," said Chief Dan Reynolds. The department is putting together a critical incident team trained in the art of de-escalating potentially violent situations involving subjects with a history of mental illness, or people in crisis. 

"The keyword is de-escalation," Reynolds said. "To have officers be more patient in dealing with these things and understanding they've got all the time in the world."

Reynolds said the department will use training from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization used by Greenville Police in 2010 for similar training. According to that department's use of force policy, officers must use a "force continuum," as a guide, which outlines various types of resistance and aggression officers will see. 

Reynolds said not all situations involve violence. Some people may want to commit suicide or may have anger issues. The point of the training is to learn to subdue these types of situations.

The critical incident team will consist of eight trained officers, many of whom will be on call in case mental health incidents arise. 

The team is expected to be in full force in the next three to four months. 

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