STAUNTON, Va. -- On Thursday, emergency services from Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta Counties participated in Crisis Intervention Training, also known as CIT.
This is the fourth year this kind of training is taking place and the purpose of it is to prepare personnel for any kind of situation that involves someone who may be mentally unstable at the time of the emergency.
"What we're training the officer to do is learn different approaches to folks with mental illness that are in crisis," says Waynesboro Police Captain Kelly Walker.
Earlier this month, both Staunton and Waynesboro declared the month of May Mental Health Awareness Month.
Emergency personnel from Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta Counties came together to learn how to deal with all sorts of mental health situations they may experience while working. Police say that those kinds of situations happen here more often than you think.
"Between welfare checks and calls for services for folks who are at that moment in crisis, probably four or five, as many as 10 calls a week," says Captain Walker.
Many people at the training session, like Robert Tucker, believe the techniques they're learning prepare them for real life situations who works with Valley Community Services.
"A person was threatening to kill them self, the officers responded and one of them took the lead in utilizing this de escalation, got the person to put his weapon down, agreed to come talk to the officer and subsequently agreed voluntarily to go to the hospital," says Tucker.