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Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shares its mental health training techniques



Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s police academy includes a scenario in which students respond to a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

“We’re really going to be modeling them after what our officers are currently seeing on district or runs that even my training staff has been through ourselves when we were still on district,” said training supervisor Brittany Faull.

Department standards provide that in order to be hospitalized, a person must meet three requirements: exhibit symptoms of mental illness; pose an urgent threat to themselves or others; and have an immediate need for treatment.

If a psychiatrist is successful in petitioning a judge, they can be hospitalized for up to 24 hours or longer if they fit all three criteria.

“However, our big key takeaway from that is it is not punitive, it is not “you are in trouble, it is truly a took for us to provide help for that person that is suffering from a mental health crisis,” Faull said.

Beyond what other departments provide, IMPD’s mental health education is superior.

“We’re are looking at various incidents across the country, to identify best practices, identify opportunities that we did as an agency or another agency did in finding opportunities where we can improve whether it being our training, tactics, policies or procedures,” said IMPD Public Information Officer Lt. Shane Foley.

Also, trainees are instructed to take care of their own and their peers’ mental health.

“You’re going to see and you are going to experience more traumatic things maybe in a week than most people do traditionally in their lives,” Faull said.

Also, as part of their training at the IMPD academy, officers learn how to interact with people who may be autistic and how to recognize those indicators.