Free mental health training for Texoma law enforcement

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A new collaborative effort to bring mental health training to local law enforcement begins next month. What makes this particular training unique.

Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt says his deputies are sent to calls that include a mental health component every day.

“COVID-19 and all of the fall-out of that, there are just a lot of people walking around with a lot of stress. We call them pressurized people and so we’re trying to learn how to better deal with them," said Watt.

So they’re trying to bring better de-escalation skills to Texoma peace officers. Grayson College, Texoma Community Center, Texoma Behavioral Health Leadership Team, and Grayson county law enforcement are coming together to make this happen...

“This training differs from other training in that in today’s society, the unrest that’s going on, our goal is to always de-escalate situations," said Watt.

It’s a week-long 40 hour training with a licensed mental health counselor, a certified peace officer, and a member of the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team. Officers will leave with the designation as a mental health peace officer.

“The value of this program, not only to law enforcement but to the Texoma Community Center, will be that a mental health peace officer will be able to be dispatched to assist their mobile crisis outreach team when they’re dealing with somebody in crisis," said Watt.

State funds are paying for the training, so for officers in Cooke, Fannin and Grayson Counties it’s free. There are 3 training sessions: October 5th-9th, November 2nd-6th and December 14th-18th.

“It’s just a good collaborative effort by everybody to make sure that we deal with the pressurized people that we come in contact with every single day," said Watt.

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