Purcell Police have been hosting a CIT School at city hall this week.
The school is about Police Crisis Intervention training.
Officers from Cleveland County, Stephens County, Minco, Oklahoma County Jail, Norman dispatchers, Choctaw Police and Purcell have been participating.
Purcell Chief of Police Bobby Elmore said he and his staff had a difficult time finding training in the metro and surrounding area.
“We offered to host a class and we met the qualifications and had the amenities to host,” Elmore said.
“Months later they called us and approved,” the chief said. “The more I learned about it the more intrigued I became.
The course is being taught by the Oklahoma State Board of Mental Health.
Attending from Purcell is officer Jeremy Pitman.
“Probably over half of our force is CIT trained,” Cpl. Josh Van Oort told The Purcell Register.
Van Oort is currently taking an online, two-year class at Oklahoma State University to earn a psychology degree so he can be a CIT instructor.
“Mental health has always interested me,” Van Oort said. “The more I learned about it, the more intrigued I became.
“Learning about disorders and actions of individuals (with mental health issues) kept up my hunger,” Van Oort said.
The veteran officers said at least half of the Purcell Department is CIT certified.
“This is probably the best course I’ve gone through in law enforcement or one of them,” Van Oort continued. “You learn how to repress different situations and de-escalate situations.”
The 40 hour course lasts all week.
“It’s not a lot but it’s 17 more people eating at our restaurants and possibly doing some shopping and gives us a chance to showcase our city,” Van Oort said.
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