HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Local law enforcement agencies are coming together to help train officers.
The training is called "Crisis Intervention," and the 40 hours of classes will help deputies and police officers recognize the signs of mental illness and substance abuse.
When they know how to respond, they will be able to keep themselves safe and also effectively help the person in the situation.
Thanks to more than $70,000 in grant money, the partnership includes the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, the Harrisonburg Police Department, Rockingham Memorial Hospital and corrections programs.
Right now, if a family member or someone calls in, the officer takes the person in crisis to the hospital.
The hope is that RMH and the officer will work to cut down on cases in the future.
This will also apply to people who are already in jail and dealing with mental illness.
"If we can have a collaboration with the mental health professionals as well as medical professionals, then maybe we're able to kind of intervene in a different way that's a little more meaningful and a little more productive as well so that we can get them the help that they need," said Cara Moubray, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator.
Classes will start in Rockingham County in March 2014.
People who have mental illnesses will be speakers as well as law enforcement.
The goal is to have every officer trained.
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