Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Crisis Intervention Team training is underway at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, with a number of law enforcement, fire department, city and county agencies taking part.

I spoke with Theresa Williams, Missoula County Crisis Intervention Team Program Manager about the training and who is involved.

Crisis Intervention Training is Underway for Missoula City and County

“We're here today where we have law enforcement, we have firefighters, and we also have crisis system workers,” began Williams. “Joining us for the first time, our Riverwalk staff, which is our new crisis center, and we also have call takers from 988. What's important is that if someone is in crisis, they know that they have a team of people behind them, whether it's someone to call which is 988; somewhere to go, which is Riverwalk, or someone to respond, which could be the Mobile Support Team.”

I also spoke to Missoula Police Department Sergeant Ryan Kamura after witnessing a training incident with multiple people yelling and arguing in which a police officer was attempting to calm one individual down, appropriately called a ‘train wreck’.

One of the Training Scenarios was Titled 'Train Wreck'

“That was what we call a ‘train wreck’,” began Kamura. “That is literally just how it sounds. The ‘train wreck’ is supposed to be multiple moving people screaming, yelling and loud music as distractions. It's supposed to take people out of their element and really  have them take a step back, take a breath and then reassess the situation. So obviously the more they yell or the more they push the envelope the worst case scenario becomes ‘a train wreck’.”

Susan Kritina works for 988 Missoula and is a volunteer with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) about what she is learning at the training.

“I'm learning a lot about how police respond to an incident, so that's really good information for me to know as a citizen and it's really good to have that mental health perspective for all the police officers, so it's a great collaboration,” said Kritina.

Williams said her ARPA Funding is Tenuous at This Time

One of the tenuous aspects of the services offered is funding, and Williams says that’s the unknown factor to all involved.

“Right now my position is funded through ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act), and that is at risk this year,” she said. “We are also we have two other positions that are funded through a grant called the Crisis Diversion Grant. So, we're going to be putting in for those positions. But again, it's an unknown. So I would say yes, there are a lot of unknowns with the continuation of funding this critical program.”

Williams thanked the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for allowing the use of their large facility for the Crisis Intervention Training.

READ MORE: Missoula Crisis Intervention Team Faces Loss of Funding

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Gallery Credit: KC

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