New Hampshire police have begun conducting sensitivity training for encounters with those with mental health issues.
Police are conducting live-action simulations of encounters, with one officer role-playing the mentally ill, to adequately prepare for real encounters. The approach focuses on showing a concern for the citizen’s wellbeing, and emphasizes a calm, peaceful tone, showing no aggression while displaying legitimate compassion. Officers are trained to remain calm and non-threatening and use first names, while avoiding whispering, laughing, or initiating an arrest for non-criminal behavior. Above all, they are trained to de-escalate situations verbally and avoid physical force. [Read more…]