Providence Police to begin Crisis Responder Training for all officers

Providence, RI- Beginning today, Certified Crisis Response Trainers from the
Providence Police Department, in partnership with mental health trainers from
Community Care Alliance and The Providence Center, will launch a joint training
initiative aimed at teaching Crisis Responder Training (CRT) basics and crisis
intervention techniques to all Providence Police Department personnel. Trainings
will be held in four hour blocks at the Providence Public Safety Complex throughout
the month of September, training approximately 100 officers in each session.
Officers will be given instruction on how to recognize and respond to individuals
experiencing a mental health crisis. The program emphasizes techniques to enhance
officer and citizen safety as well as best practices to get these individuals the
help they require, instead of jail time.
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The training will teach officers techniques to ensure safe and effective
interventions when dealing with people experience a mental crisis, how to maintain
the safety of the officer and individual by decreasing use of force or a physical
confrontation when responding to someone in crisis, fostering relationships between
the police and community mental health providers in order to improve services,
decreasing the stigma that is associated with mental illness, creating a learning
environment that promotes respect and dignity for individuals with mental illness
and their families, and how to utilize effective oral and visual communication
skills when faced with these situations. It is critical that police officers are
able to recognize when they encounter someone in a severely distraught mental state
and that they have the skills necessary to balance their personal and public safety
concerns with the safety and care of the person with mental illness.

Community Care Alliance is a non- profit behavioral health provider in RI which has
provided law enforcement training since 1999 and have trained three Providence
Police Officers to become trainers in crisis response.

«As mental health continues to be a growing concern, we as a police department must
be adequately prepared when responding to these critical situations,» said Colonel
Clements. «This training will allow every officer, in each division, to have the
resources they need to be successful. I thank our partners at The Providence Center
for their continued support, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for our
officers, as well as the Community Care Alliance for training our officers.»

The Department Certified Crisis Response Trainers who will be conducting the
training include: Detective Jose Pineda, Patrolman Mark Dececco, and Patrolman Peter
Colt. Officers will be assisted by: Jessica Zira MA, QMHP Clinical Therapist of The
Providence Center; Richard Crino RN, CTR, QMHP Vice President, Acute Services
Community Care Alliance; Rebecca Elsing MA, CAGS, QMHP of Community Care Alliance;
Robin Winslow, retired Coventry Police Lieutenant and Assistant Professor at New
England Institute of Technology.