Four Highland County law enforcement officers recently attended a week-long training event designed for officers and first responders to react appropriately to situations involving someone with a mental illness or a developmental disability, according to the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board.
According to a press release from the board, 15 law enforcement officers and correction officers from the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Police Department, Chillicothe Police Department, Circleville Police Department, Pickaway County Jail, Ross County Sheriff’s Office and Waverly Police Department completed the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on Friday, May 4.
Deputies Chet Gibson and Stevie Alexander of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and officers Adam Day and Jeremy Conley of the Hillsboro Police Department represented Highland County at the training.
Since the board’s first training course in 2013, a total of 142 officers or first responders have completed CIT training.
According to the release, Highland County has 30 CIT-certified officers, Fayette County has four, Pickaway County has 23, Pike County has nine and Ross County has 74.
Penny Dehner, executive director of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board, said she believes it’s important to have trained officers in the board’s region, “not only for the safety of our officers but also for our communities.”
“We are really excited to be continuing to make this annual training available the first week of May each year,” she added.
In addition to this training, the board will hold a two-day CIT Correction Officer training in October, according to Dehner.
The CIT Planning Committee is comprised of mental health providers from the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center (SPVMHC), law enforcement officers and Veterans Administration professionals that worked together to develop a local CIT training, the release said.
This training is funded by The Paint Valley ADAMH Board.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Ohio provides additional funding for presenters to assure the best training in the state would be available for law enforcement officers, according to the release.
“Thank you to the staff of the Ross County Board of DD, SPVMHC, VA Medical Center and NAMI for their contributions to our training,” the release said. “The Paint Valley ADAMH Board would like to thank the Sun Room Catering of Frankfort, Ohio for preparing breakfast for our officers during this week of training.”
The board also thanked 7Miles Smokehouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tumbleweed Restaurant, Subway and Jimmy John’s Subs for providing meals.
The Paint Valley ADAMH Board was created in 1967 to ensure the availability of community-based alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services for the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.
For more information, call the Paint Valley ADAMH Board at 740-773-2283.