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NY funds police training on mentally ill

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's new budget allots $400,000 for a pilot program to train police officers in dealing with the mentally ill.

Mental health advocates proposed the training to help officers assess and de-escalate confrontations when called to incidents involving psychologically troubled people.

The so-called Crisis Intervention Team model is already used in some form by 2,700 jurisdictions nationwide.

It teams police officers with mental health professionals.

The program includes guidance for 911 dispatchers on gathering information on mental health and addiction issues.

It also includes 40 hours of training for patrol officers on topics like maintaining a safety zone while assessing the situation and avoiding the temptation to immediately answer a crisis with force.
   AP-WF-04-05-14 1622GMT