04/01/2006

23 Clayton (MO) officers get special training for dealing with emotionally disturbed people

By Janet McNichols
SPECIAL TO THE POST-DISPATCH
Special to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

Related PoliceOne article: 5 S.M.A.R.T. Tips for Approaching the Emotionally Disturbed

CLAYTON, MO -- Many city police officers have received training for dealing with people who exhibit psychological problems, Police Chief Tom Byrne told the city's aldermen Tuesday.

The aldermen approved police department participation in the St. Louis County Crisis Intervention Team Coordinating Council. The group includes experts in mental health care as well as law enforcement personnel.

St. Louis County has established a Mental Health Court/Jail Diversion Program in which people exhibiting psychological problems can receive treatment instead of going to jail.

Byrne said 23 Clayton police officers have been trained in the handling of people who appear to exhibit psychological problems. Byrne said the program is a progressive approach to handling people with these problems and has the support of other municipalities in the county.

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