Police officers in Kentucky have an increasingly broad range of training that includes responding to situations where someone has mental health issues.
Owensboro Police Department Lt. Chris Castlen is one of the trainers who took part in a recent crisis intervention workshop in Daviess County for about 30 officers from around the region.
Castlen says it’s important for officers to be able to recognize mental health issues and respond in a way that will de-escalate the situation.
“You know, I’ve been a police officer for 20 years and in that time I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of calls where we respond to consumers, as we call people, who are suffering from some sort of mental illness.”
Castlen says police officers spend as much time relating to people who are dealing with some sort of mental illness as they do responding to criminal activity and victims of crime.