Crisis intervention training proving to be helpful tool for local officers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  In addition to guns, tasers and handcuffs, the Kansas City Police Department has a new tool to add to their belt.

Some officers have additional training to recognize people in crisis situations. They make up the “Crisis Intervention Team.”

The team is called in for situations like the one Wednesday when a man was threatened to jump from the Bond Bridge.

Believe it or not 20 to 25-percent of 911 calls come from people in an emotional crisis situation. The intervention team is now trained to help those people, and in some cases — officers will even take them to Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center for additional help.

The center opened a little more than a year ago and its purpose is to cater to law enforcement. Up until then officers would take people who needed emotional help to the emergency room because they weren’t sure where to take them.

"Our whole goal is to cater to law enforcement," Stephanie Boyer with the center said. "We really want to be able to provide the front door."

Now when you call 911 for help, you can ask for a member of the crisis intervention team. That will help dispatchers figure out which officer is best to respond.