This week, 26 members of law enforcement and first responders from the Cortland area are participating in the fifth annual Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT) school.
The training offers officers the skills to successfully work with persons in crisis who have serious emotional needs, mental health conditions or may be suicidal.
As an example, Cortland Police had nearly 300 calls for Emotionally Distressed Persons in 2016. More than 70% of these calls were responded to by a trained officer who works to preserve the dignity of each individual encountered.
Police officers from Cortland, the County, Homer, SUNY and staff from County probation and 911 dispatch will attend, their training costs covered by a grant.
The school is sponsored by Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Cortland Police, Cortland County Mental Health, Family Counseling Services, Catholic Charities of Cortland County, and the Population Health Improvement Program.
Eric Weaver, a former Mental Health Coordinator and Sgt with Rochester Police will train the group.