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February 2, 2012

ULM police officers recognized for crisis intervention skills

Two University of Louisiana at Monroe Police Department officers were recently recognized for their skill and training Jan. 26 at the Northeast Delta Crisis Intervention Team annual awards banquet at the West Monroe Convention Center.

Lt. Dan Chason and Officer Steven Mahon were recognized as ULMPD CIT Officers of the Year for their response, intervention and methods utilized while dealing with a consumer who was under the influence of PCP in late 2011.

This encounter was brought to a safe conclusion due to the specialized training and skills learned through the CIT program.

According to Sgt. Mark Johnston, board member and instructor for CIT, "These officers encountered a situation that could have (and in similar instances) resulted in the use of deadly force. If not for their expertise and skills that were demonstrated, there could have been serious injury to the consumer, officers or bystanders."

Both officers were awarded a plaque and recognized at the banquet attended by over 100 fellow first responders and police officers.

The award, selected by the CIT Board of Directors, recognizes the important role that crisis intervention plays when dealing with consumers facing a crisis due to mental illness or episodes brought about through abuse of controlled and dangerous substances.

There are over 400 CIT certified police officers and over 200 CIT certified dispatchers in North Louisiana. ULM's Dr. Mkay Bonner and Johnson are the founders and lead instructors for this valuable training.

The ULMPD has seven CIT certified officers on staff with additional officers slated to receive instruction.

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