Local police departments get training on situations involving mental health

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Local police and deputies are fine-tuning how they respond to situations involving mental health issues.

Ozark Center is hosting a week-long training for law enforcement.

The goal is to increase awareness and give officers options for de-escalating a situation without using violence.

Sessions range from role playing situations that might happen on the job to finding out firsthand how they can get help.

Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center, said, “In a very intense course that includes visits out in the community – where they visit the modified medical detox. Where they visit the residential substance use treatment facility.”

Ozark Center workers add it’s estimated 10% of police interactions involve mental illness – and they hope this training will help with future encounters.

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