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Not all Utah officers get mental-crisis training


By Ethan Thomas
Deseret Morning News

Although some law enforcement officers across the state receive specific training that helps deal with a person experiencing a mental crisis, mental health officials say the number of officers receiving that training could be much higher. That need for more training has left some wondering if the death of an Arizona man – Brian Cardall – who died this week after being hit with a Taser by a Hurricane police officer, could have possibly been avoided.

The Salt Lake Police Department provides crisis intervention training for police agencies across the state. Crisis intervention training helps officers who complete the course to identify characteristics of various mental disorders and teaches them how to adapt their approaches in those situations. National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah's executive director Sherri Wittwer says Utah's 40-hour training program is the "gold standard" of training courses in that area.

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