Minnesota Police Trained To Identify Veterans In Crisis

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Some police officers across Minnesota are going through training on how to identify veterans in crisis.

The training is meant to help officers recognize and offer support for a growing number of returning war veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury.

Officers from St. Paul, Minneapolis and Richfield police departments as well as University of Minnesota and Metro Transit officers took part in the training. Minnesota has the distinction of being home to the longest deployed national guard unit in the country.

Baker is a defense attorney who co-teaches a class called, “De-escalation Strategies for Minnesota Veterans in Crisis.” He tells officers what to look for, like combat badges, bumper stickers or clothing that helps identify a person as a veteran.

“What we want is to understand that this is a veteran, and if it’s a veteran crisis, how do we get them to treatment,” Baker said.

Officers from the St. Paul Police Department took part in the training, too.

“It’s a new item in our bet that we will be able to use and hopefully use less force,” St. Paul Police Sgt. Paul Paulos said.

Sgt. Paulos says it’s not a free pass for veterans, but a tool that can be used to get them the help they need.

Source: CBS Minnesota.


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