The Maui Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team welcomed 16 new members to its list of trained personnel on Friday.
The class of MPD officers and recruits, as well as representatives from the Maui Humane Society, Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Paia Youth and Cultural Center, completed 40 hours of training last week.
The hands-on training teaches participants how to interact with individuals potentially suffering from a mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis, according to a MPD news release. It focuses on deescalating a situation before reaching a point of violence or self-harm while ensuring the individuals receive the appropriate response and care they need.
Since the program first launched in 2013, a total of 14 classes have completed the training. The program was the first of its kind in the state and now consists of 213 individuals, including first responders, health care workers, hotel employees, government agencies, local nonprofits and other sectors.
Alicia Rodriguez, law enforcement clinical psychologist of Waves of Insight, oversees the classes, with instructors coming from agencies specializing in social services, mental health, law enforcement, medical care, veteran services and homelessness.
The Crisis Intervention Team training is part of MPD’s Critical Outreach and Response through Education (CORE) unit that works with community agencies on issues that include houseless individuals and those potentially suffering from mental illness.