WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With recent officer-involved shootings in the spotlight, KSN wanted to know how deputies handle crisis intervention. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office trains deputies to handle health issues or special needs Often, it is a delicate balance when trying to make the right choice in how to approach a situation.
“We have to weigh and measure those circumstances because a lot of the cues we would see from a violent offender might be identical to someone in crises.”
To try to handle it properly, Sedgwick County deputies go through CIT or Crisis Intervention Team training. It works to ensure deputies have a better understanding of what to do and when.
“A violent offender? It’s imperative that we gain control. We have to physically control that circumstance to promote our safety whereas if we have someone who is in a crises or a mental health crises if you will, well then patience is going to be the key,” said Deputy Narciso Narvais.
And knowing that difference has become a major talking point across the country as law enforcement officials try to know what to do and when situations can change in the blink of an eye.
“We have officers who go out into the field, one of our first concerns is that we’re always trying to promote safety. Not only the safety of us ourselves as officers, but other people that are involved in the call. So one of those things that really becomes difficult is officers are trying to make those right decisions at exactly the right moment,” said Narvais.
The situation becomes more difficult now that body cameras are also in the mix.
“Everybody has a lot more time to evaluate whereas it’s often been said in Supreme Court ruling, we shouldn’t be viewing things through 20/20 hindsight. The officers are making split second decisions on rapidly evolving circumstances and they’re trying to do the best it the best they can with the information they have on board,” added Narvais.