Columbia hosts law enforcement training conference
COLUMBIA - Law enforcement officials from around the state attended the annual Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) conference in Columbia this week.
MCIT's purpose is to take care of any barriers at the state level and be a voice for policy and legislative changes that need to be made regarding health and wellness.
The team is made up of local councils across the state, community mental health liaisons, state agencies and associations and those with lived experience.
All officers from around the state were invited to attend the conference to receive the training being offered.
According to their website, the Crisis Intervention Team training "is a training program developed in a number of the U.S. states to help police officers react appropriately to situations including behavioral health and/or developmental disabilities."
The conference began on Monday with training sessions like, "Helping People with Autism in Crisis Situations" and "Serving Human Trafficking Victims: The Dilemmas, The Mental Health Challenges & The Joys."
Tuesday, the training will continue with keynote speaker Kevin Gilmartin, the author of "Emotional Survival", a book about helping officers maintain and/or improve their quality of life.
"This is something that Missouri needs," said former disabilities commission member Andrew Liebig. "We have so many different scenarios, from different people who have different walks of life where this could be a problem where this could you know, where this could really save somebody."
Liebig said he still believes there are necessary improvements to be made to the way law enforcement is being trained to handle situations involving disabled individuals.
"The problem that I have with the training going on currently is that it doesn't involve people," says Liebig.
Liebig said he believes the best way for law enforcement officers to be properly trained is by communicating with the people who have these disabilities, asking them questions rather than just reading about it in a book or online.