Receive the latest news from SMSC
Prior Lake, MN – A person experiencing a mental health crisis presents some of the most intricate, dangerous, and unstable conditions that a police officer may encounter. To help train Scott County law enforcement officers to better deal with people with mental illness, at the request of the Chiefs of Police Association within Scott County (CPASC), the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will fund specialized training for approximately 200 public safety officers within Scott County. These officers will be able to attend the eight-hour training which the SMSC will fund with a $17,000 grant.
Five different training sessions will be offered so that all officers will be able to attend the training, which the CPASC is making mandatory. The first two training sessions will be held from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the SCALE Regional Training Facility in Jordan, Minnesota. The last three training sessions will be held from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Playworks LINK Event Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The set of five training sessions runs from Tuesday, April 24, 2012, through Wednesday, November 14, 2012.
Law enforcement officers representing the cities of Belle Plaine, New Prague, Jordan, Shakopee, Prior Lake/Elko/New Market, and also the Scott County Sheriff’s office, the Minnesota State Patrol, and the local Department of Natural Resources will be able to attend the training. The Crisis Intervention Team, sponsored by the Minnesota Crisis Intervention Team Officers Association (MNCIT) will lead the professional, specialized training.
The mission of the MNCIT is to provide law enforcement personnel with information and training in how to safely and compassionately handle a person in a mental health crisis. Their training is based on the nationally recognized Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model, which promotes the use of verbal de-escalation skills before using force when confronting a mental health crisis. CIT training has been proven to dramatically decrease the risk of injuries or death to both officers and consumers of mental health services, while also reducing the number of repeat calls, the MNCIT website states.
SMSC’s Director of Mental and Chemical Health Programs Dr. Antony Stately sits on the Scott County Local Mental Health Advisory Council with City of Savage Chief of Police Rodney Seurer, representing the Scott County Chiefs Association.
“We have recently recognized that our officers are responding to increased calls for services dealing with people with mental illness. When needed, our officers are on the front line in dealing with people with mental illness and their families. We are important allies with health care professionals and play an important role not only in fulfilling legal obligations but also in diffusing difficult situations and providing calm, support, and reassurance,” said Savage Police Chief Seurer.
“Research shows the probability of a lethal outcome can be significantly avoided by police officers and other law enforcement intervening in a different way in situations involving individuals with mental health concerns,” said Dr. Stately. “It is our hope that this training will help officers learn valuable information and skills that can assist them more effectively protect the public safety while at the same time intervene successfully with those who may be suffering from a mental health problem.“
Law enforcement officers from more than 39 city police departments and numerous counties in Minnesota have already received the training but this will be the first time the training will be offered in Scott County on such a large scale.
Crisis Intervention Training starts with an introductory eight-hour training taught by law enforcement officers and includes a basic overview of mental health issues and promotes the use of verbal de-escalation skills before using force when confronting a mental health crisis. Specifically, the course includes a basic overview of schizophrenia and disorders including psychotic, mood, cognitive, personality, and substance abuse disorders. The introduction will look at the causes and nature of the illnesses, typical patterns of behavior, common medications, and guidelines for officer response. There will also be a panel of consumers of mental health services sharing their experience.
The training will give officers a basic understanding of what someone in a mental health crisis may be experiencing and help them direct individuals in crisis to appropriate care.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has a charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need.
Over the past 16 years, the SMSC has donated more than $229.3 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction projects and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $12.7 million to local governments for services and another $5 million for other projects.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.