ROCHESTER, Minn. - Crisis Intervention Training is underway in Rochester with both the police department and Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office participating in the annual event.
The sessions are being hosted at the Rochester Police North Precinct over a three-day period.
Police officers and deputies will be receiving 40 hours of intensive training focused on crisis intervention according to Lt. Paul Gronholz.
He explained, "It's an ability to understand people that are in crisis and connect them with resources in the community in order to help them recover.”
Along with classroom instruction, there are interactive role-playing scenarios that allow law enforcement to receive real-life experience while applying classroom knowledge.
Lt. Gronholz said, “Once we make it relevant, and they see the benefit by using these scenario-based training, they can think through things even with stress so they can do that better on the street.”
The Crisis Intervention Training typically happens once a year. However, it had to be postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic so this is the first year back and it's the first year it's being held in the new facility on River Parkway NorthWest.
“In the past we'd have to rent out a facility that is able to have break-out rooms but it's expensive,” said Lt. Gronholz. “To be able to do that here is cost savings for the city and county and hopefully gets us to be able to host this more often because the facility fee is no longer an issue.”
The departments hope to get law enforcement trained in crisis intervention tactics at the same level as they were pre-pandemic which is about 80-90%. Right now about 65% are trained.
He added, “Really the goal is 100% of our officers trained in CIT de-escalation tactics, that's the goal, and hosting the training here is helping us get to that goal.”
The CIT sessions began in 2007. This is the 14th year local law enforcement is participating.