Sheridan Police Department Chief: Mental Health Calls Require Unique Training and Support

Sheridan Media reports on SPD’s response to mental health calls

During an appearance on Sheridan Media’s Public Pulse, Sheridan Police Department Chief Travis Koltiska and Captain Tom Ringley discussed the importance of Critical Incident Training (CIT) in handling mental health calls received by the SPD. They emphasized that mental health calls are viewed as a medical issue due to the complex nature of the situations and that there are no other agencies in Sheridan County or the City of Sheridan that can respond to mental health incidents.

Ringley highlighted that even if another agency existed, law enforcement would still offer support in mental health crisis situations. Despite the variability of each person and situation, the SPD has made efforts to classify mental health calls into categories to track severity. In 2023, the SPD responded to a total of 662 calls involving mental health incidents. These included 474 welfare checks, 79 incidents involving individuals with mental health issues, 93 cases of assisting suicidal subjects, and 16 calls involving individuals who had attempted suicide.

The prevalence of suicide in Wyoming was also mentioned by Ringley, citing statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health. The state’s suicide rate of 31.1 per 100,000 is significantly higher than the national average of 14 per 100,000. This issue results in preventable deaths that have a profound impact on individuals, families, and communities across the state. The SPD recognizes this problem and is committed to providing support and resources to those in need during these difficult times.

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