(OnFocus) Five members of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department have successfully completed Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT).
Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker, Lt. Eric Marten, Deputy Chris Stauner, Chief Deputy Randy Dorshorst, Deputy Derek Phillippi completed the 40-hour comprehensive training course to better understand mental health.
During the course, officers learn how to recognize many types of mental illnesses and disorders, how to safely deescalate a crisis situation, and about available resources and officer wellness.
The training is sponsored by the department, Wood County Human Services/Crisis, Mid-State Technical College, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The department runs the course once or twice a year depending on interest.
“Four years ago we started sending deputies out of the area to CIT in Appleton and Madison, a couple areas where the program was established,” said Becker. “We found that this is something we should put on here because part of the training is connecting our officers with the mental health services provided locally.”
Most of the patrol officers and investigators at the Wood County Sheriff’s Department have completed CIT training. Members of dispatch are also expected to take the course, as a high volume of calls involve mental health concerns, and also corrections officers, to address the mental health needs of inmates.
Becker said people have noticed a difference between officers that have gone through the training and those who haven’t. Those with CIT training can be identified by a gold pin on the officer’s uniform which states “Community Crisis Intervention Team.”