The National Alliance on Mental Illness says approximately 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness in a given year. Now, police officers in Maine are trying to better assist those they come in contact with on a regular basis.
ELLSWORTH– Law enforcement deal with an array of situations on a daily basis, and on Thursday, officers gathered for a crisis intervention training to understand those dealing with mental illness and abuse. They hope that with this training, they can regulate, diffuse, and deescalate the situation.
In addition to the training, police officers smoke to residents of EMMAUS, a homeless shelter in Ellsworth, to better accumulate themselves with peoples real world problems dealing with addiction and homelessness.
One of the residents, Nichole Rivers, started abusing alcohol at the age of fourteen. She later became addicted to drugs and is now homeless. She shared her story with police for them to better understand this side of the community.
With this training, police officers can now be seen as an effective “caregiver” on scene.