VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - There is a weapon in a police officer’s arsenal of tools you don’t see. It’s the power of words to save lives.
Last Wednesday, officers responded to a man standing on the California street bridge in Ventura. After an hour and a half, officers were able to talk the man out of a life-threatening decision.
Deputy Sheriff, Chandra Pugh says it’s all thanks to crisis intervention training
“You want to try and build a rapport with them and keep them away from their thought of what they want to do and try to become friends with them so they are not thinking about what they are wanting to do,” said Pugh.
It’s a program that 80 percent of Ventura County law enforcement is trained on.
“The main concept is to talk about time and space,” said CIT Program Administrator, Mark Stadler. “Slow things down -- create a safe distance between you and that person so you have the opportunity to come to a peaceful resolution.”
The CIT training is quite rigorous. Officers participate in a 40-hour training three times a year.
The next training will be held the first week of December.