All this week, Cortland is hosting a sixth annual Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT) school for local and regional law enforcement personnel and first responders.
The training gives officers the skills to successfully work with persons in crisis who have serious emotional needs, mental health conditions, or may be suicidal with the goal of injury prevention to both officers and community members.
The Cortland Police Department (CPD) reports more than 300 calls for Emotionally Distressed Persons in 2017. More than 70% of these calls were responded to by an EDPRT trained officer.
The EDPRT makes every effort to preserve the dignity of each individual encountered and provide necessary resources in order to enhance their treatment process.
One officer who has the training stated, “use of force and injuries have decreased dramatically due to increased officer training and learning empathy.”
The EDPRT consists of a group of police officers specially trained to respond to crisis, assess each situation and conduct a mental health intervention for individuals who need emergency care in Cortland County.
The training will include 17 participants coming from a variety of police agencies in Cortland, Onondaga and Tompkins Counties.
Thanks to Population Health Improvement Program and Care Compass Network grant funding, the 40 hour training will be provided at no cost to the trainees or their departments.
The EDPRT school is sponsored by Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Cortland Police Department, Cortland County Mental Health Department, Family Counseling Services, and Catholic Charities of Cortland County.