NOPD graduates crisis intervention unit

NOPD graduates crisis intervention unit

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department congratulated a third class of officers who gained specialized skills to help those with mental health issues.

Almost 70 officers graduated Thursday after finishing 40 hours of training.

The program focused on techniques and best practices for minimizing the use of force and deescalating mental health crises.

NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said in 2015, the department responded to more than 4,000 calls involving mental illness.

He said the crisis intervention program, or CIT, has shown to reduce injuries from happening.

Including the latest class of graduating officers, 69 other officers have completed the training.

As part of the federal consent decree, the NOPD hopes to train at least 20 percent of the patrol force by August.

"CIT programs across the country have shown that officers and individuals involved are less likely to get hurt and use force. Community policing builds relationships to help officer better understand their situation so we know who to help them," Harrison said.

The federal consent decree mandated the NOPD to train at least 20 percent of the force with CIT by August.

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