Recognizing the need for cit training for dispatchers calltakers
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Recognizing the Need for CIT Training for Dispatchers & Calltakers. Houston Police Department Mental Health Unit Rebecca Skillern, M.A., LPC-S Police Officer/Instructor. OVERVIEW.

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Recognizing the Need for CIT Training for Dispatchers & Calltakers

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Recognizing the need for cit training for dispatchers calltakers

Recognizing the Need for CIT Training for Dispatchers & Calltakers

Houston Police Department

Mental Health Unit

Rebecca Skillern, M.A., LPC-S

Police Officer/Instructor


Overview

OVERVIEW

  • Telecommunicators (i.e., both dispatchers & calltakers) serve as the true 1st Responder – they begin the response when they take the call

  • Things to consider when the call comes in…

    • Possible range of emotions

    • Obtaining vital, relevant information

      • Are there injuries?

      • Are there weapons present?

      • Identification of suspects/consumers/victims…


Overview cont

OVERVIEW (Cont.)

  • Telecommunicators have a very complex & stressful job function –

    • Must remain calm & focused

    • Do their best to ensure the safety of both the caller and the On-Scene 1st Responders

    • Balancing emotions (caller’s, On-Scene Responder’s, and their own)

    • Being Poised = control of situation


What s needed

WHAT’S NEEDED

  • General Conceptualization & understanding of the following:

    • “Crisis” – emotionally significant or life altering event

    • “Intervention” – coming ‘in between’ or modifying

    • “Crisis Intervention”

      • “the process of entering into an individual’s life in order to defuse the destructive effects of the unusual stress being experienced, emphasi[zing] the immediate management, rather than resolution, of the crisis.” (Greenstone, J.L.)


What s needed continued

What’s Needed (continued)

  • Simply put…crisis intervention serves as a form of emotionalfirst aid or emergency guidance for basic coping until more significant intervention(s) can be obtained.

  • A general understanding of the “Big 3” Mental Illnesses and crisis emotionality

  • An understanding of what On-scene 1st Responders may be encountering


  • What s needed continued1

    What’s Needed (continued)

    • Ability to recognize Crisis States &/or Levels of Crisis Intervention

      • Level 1 – Trigger Stage

      • Level 2 – Escalation Stage

      • Level 3 – Crisis Stage

      • Level 4 – Resolution Stage

  • Training in

    • Effective communication skills (i.e., active listening techniques and verbal de-escalation techniques)


  • What s needed continued2

    What’s Needed (continued)

    • Suicide Intervention & Prevention techniques

    • Handling angry or difficult callers

    • Family Violence related calls

    • Hostage & Barricade Events

  • And, of equal significance, an outlet for processing/debriefing after significant crisis calls

    • Psychological Services access

    • Peer Support Programs with on-site debriefing teams.


  • Bibliography

    Bibliography

    Greenstone, J.L.; August 1995. Crisis Intervention Skills Training for Police Negotiators. The Police Chief.

    Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards & Education; 2010. Crisis Communications Course Number 2120.


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