OSAGE BEACH, Mo. -- "This is a 40 hour Crisis Intervention Team training that we put on for law enforcement officers," said Det. Tom Gorsline of the Osage Beach Police Department.
Right now, more than 9,000 officers in Missouri are trained in Crisis Intervention, and some officers from across the Lake of the Ozarks region will add to that number at the end of the week. Its something officers feel is important for communities across the state to have.
"It's really nice and important if an officer just uses communication skills and is able to make a good connection so that there is a good connection so that there is a good outcome and the people feel like officers are coming at them in a good way, that it's a caring situation, that they're able to help meet their needs," said Ted Solomon, Mental Health Liason with Pathways Behavioral Health.
One of the situations officers are learning to de-escalate this week include situations where someone is trying to attempt suicide by cop.
Gorsline says they also discuss hypothetical situations dealing with real-life cases, such as the manhunt for Dallas County Murder Suspect, Billy Sage Medley.
"Preplanning for the worst case scenario is probably the best thing law enforcement can do," Gorsline said. "We always hope that it never happens, but we also know if we pre-plan, and we talk about it, and we get things lined out, that if this does actually happen, this is what we need to do initially."
Aside from learning how to de-escalate high tension situations, officers are also being trained on how to treat their own who might be struggling after a tense or traumatic call - something that's not always easy for some officers to admit.
"That person that's going through that, that may not open up, just let them know, 'hey, I'm here whenever you want to talk. Because it may take them a while," Gorsline added. "Police officers are that Type A personality, supposed to be tough guys. But, we're just human."
There are 28 local CIT councils across the state, and the MO Crisis Intervention Team Council is working to expand that.