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N.H. Law Enforcement and Mental Health Community Looking for Ways to Enhance Officer Training

NHPR File Photo

Representatives from law enforcement, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and state agencies met recently to discuss ways to expand mental health training for police officers.

"Police officers throughout the State of New Hampshire -- and I see a lot of them -- their consistent message is 'We need more mental health training,'" said Lieutenant Frank Harris, who helped organize the meeting.

Harris says officers increasingly interact with people in a mental health crisis and that sometimes they struggle with how to handle these situations.

One idea is to create a Crisis Intervention Training program located in Concord, where officers would be close to some of the state's mental health resources, including New Hampshire Hospital.

The group will continue to meet and is exploring options for funding any future training sessions.

"I guess at the end of the tunnel, we hope to walk out and see a police officer and a clinician sitting side-by-side in a training," Harris said.  

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