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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

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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