SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Sikeston Department of Public Safety partnered with the crisis intervention team to host 40 hours of police officer standard training.
The classes, held at the Sikeston headquarters, are a way to keep area law enforcement up to date on de-escalation techniques.
Heartland officers are in the classroom and continuing to educate themselves as they learn how to deal with crisis situations.
“It’s looking at behavioral health issues within the community, identifying resources and giving the officers the tools on how to de-escalate those situations and get those individuals into treatment.”
Missouri Crisis intervention team coordinator Jason Klaus said officers are learning a new set of skills when working with the community.
“We are looking at active listening, being empathetic to the individual that you are working with," he said. "And really just how to help them get better service.”
Each year officers are required mandatory training in specific law enforcement fields Including racial profiling, de-escalation and crisis intervention.
Thursday’s class meets those requirements as area law enforcement officers take one more step in an effort to connect with the community.
“I truly believe the skills you will learn in the CIT class will help with community relations and will help with any call for service an officer goes on," said Klaus, who believes that by expanding the officer’s skillset, the CIT class makes each officer more valuable to the community.
“When your understanding different populations of the community that you may not have a personal relationship with, if you can understand where they’re coming from, and maybe even that community looks at that officer a little bit differently.”
He said his goal is to produce better officers.
“We want to change the perception of what we do in law enforcement," he said. "We are community-driven; we are service first. We do want to be out there protecting our communities.”
Officers will attend five days of crisis intervention training and receive a pin and certificate at the competition of the class.