Okla. City police training for mental health issues
133 Crisis Intervention Training officers have so far voluntarily taken 40-hour course on dealing with the mentally ill
By LeighAnne Manwarren
OKLAHOMA CITY — Police officers patrolling downtown Oklahoma City told Staff Sgt. Corey Nooner nothing could be done to help the homeless woman they regularly encountered on the streets. They said she was too mean and aggressive to receive his help. She had been in and out of the Oklahoma County jail.
But Nooner — who received special training to deal with the severely mentally ill — wanted to try to help her.He drove to a corner where the woman was known to frequent and got out of his patrol car. The woman was apprehensive as the uniformed officer tried to make conversation with her. After about 20 minutes, Nooner drove away. He called local mental health providers to determine a game plan for how to approach her again.
In subsequent visits, Nooner learned the woman had delusional thoughts and believed she was pregnant.“That bumped up the priority for us, because she was living on the streets. She thought she was pregnant, but then she would tell you that she wasn't pregnant,” Nooner said. Nooner and a mental health care worker convinced her to go to a hospital and doctors determined that she was pregnant. After a second hospital visit, she was placed into a long-term mental health care facility. That was four years ago.