ROCHESTER, Minn. – Each year, law enforcement in Rochester and Olmsted County responds to at least 600 crisis calls a year.
Officials tell KIMT that number is on the rise.
That’s why for the past decade, the men and women in uniform have been holding crisis intervention trainings.
Organizers hire actors to play out different scenarios, in order to teach officers and deputies how to talk with people in crisis.
“It gives us a whole new understanding of what these calls take, and it really is to help people,” Sgt. Jim Schueller, with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We're not in the business of just enforcing laws. When people need help, we want to be the ones that they call and know that we're going to be able to help them as well.”
Next week will be the 11th year the Rochester and Olmsted County program is holding the training. They are one of the few self-sustaining programs in the state.
Those who receive the training say they like to see the difference they make in the community.
“To be able to run into them, whether I'm on duty or not, and have them come up to me and say 'hey, I don't know if you remember me or not but you were the officer I talked to that night,'” Schueller said. “To hear a positive difference that we make, for all the officers, one story like that can keep us going for months or even years to know that we helped someone.”
The training will take place Tuesday through Friday of next week.
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