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Burlington, IA: 'First 40 hour mental health training' for teachers in SE IA

Sept 16, 2018, Macon (GA) Telegraph: Iowa police, schools partner on safety …School resource officers are nothing new, but with mounting concerns over school shootings, schools increasingly are working with police and sheriff's departments to bolster student safety…. The Hawk Eye reports that Burlington patrol officers have been required to make appearances in Burlington's public and private schools on a daily basis for the past six or seven years, but it wasn't until this year the department began assigning officers to specific schools. … "We're always looking at ways we can enhance our relationships with students, but at the same time, there was a lot of effort last (school) year by students and a lot of parents wanting to enhance access to mental health services, wanting to kind of strengthen or harden a little bit the abilities for people to access schools. … Officers visit their assigned schools periodically throughout their shifts, as their workload allows. They spend anywhere from between 10 to 30 minutes there, walking the hallways and talking with students and staff. There are no set times for these visits…. ... Like many schools throughout southeast Iowa and the rest of the U.S., concerns have arisen in the district about school safety since the Parkland, Florida, shooting in February…. ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH In addition to ALICE training the BPD helps to provide schools with each year, the department will provide mental health and crisis intervention technique training in October involving law enforcement, area mental health providers and school staff wherein they will learn how to recognize potential crisis issues in schools. The intent is to equip them to sooner recognize students in need of mental health services with which the schools can connect them. "Our first 40-hour mental health training and crisis intervention techniques is going to happen in southeast Iowa," Grimshaw said. "And we're going to make sure that obviously our school resource officers, any of our officers that have immediate contact, maybe on the front line with specific units, would attend that training." The department has been working on a subcommittee with regional mental health coalition Southeast Iowa Regional Link for the past year and a half to develop the crisis intervention training. …

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