North Charleston police details training process for mental health calls


Photo: Live 5 News

Photo: Live 5 News

By Paola Tristan Arruda | September 15, 2020 at 10:46 PM EDT - Updated September 16 at 6:58 AM

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Local police departments are talking about how their officers handle people who have mental issues.

The discussion comes after a 13-year-old boy with autism was shot by a police officer in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The North Charleston Police Department receives training classes specifically on how to handle people with mental illnesses. Lt. Andrew Glover with the department says they receive a 40-hour crisis intervention class.

They also have 40 hours of in-service training which has time set aside for scenario-based training.

Officers are put in situations, seen locally and nationally, where they must deal with people who have mental health issues.

“We’re just shy of 170 officers that have received the 40-hour crisis intervention training which is done through the Alliance of the Mentally ill and we’re not alone in that,” Glover said. “Mt. Pleasant, Goose Creek, Charleston city, Charleston county, they are also pushing that same goal of their complete across the board getting everybody certified.”

Glover says the department also utilizes a mental health expert that is assigned to their department.

These days officers are also asking dispatch for extra information about the person they are going to be encountering, all to keep things under control.

“A lot of times it’s good to know from family members or individuals that are calling for somebody is what we would refer to as triggers, something that sets them off that they don’t like to speak with,” Glover said.

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