The Orlando Police Department has joined a Florida State University study to see how useful online suicide prevention training would be for its police officers, the university announced in a press release Friday.
The idea is “to provide officers with information they need to recognize the warning signs of suicide and skills to effectively intervene,” lead researcher Philip Osteen, assistant professor at the FSU College of Social Work, said.
Orlando Police Department Chief John Mina said he wanted to be “proactive and ensure that our officers receive the best information available because this is an important issue.”
Here’s the rest of the release:
FSU and Orlando PD have worked together on other projects, including training offered by FSU on the issue of domestic violence through its Institute for Family Violence Studies, which also is coordinating the suicide intervention study.
“We’ve worked with FSU before and having that working relationship has been mutually beneficial,” said Capt. Susan Brown, who will help coordinate the study team at OPD.
Research volunteers will be sought from patrol officers, Crisis Intervention Team members and Crisis Negotiation Team members.
Officers will be offered the chance to participate in the six-hour training during February through April. They can take the training at any time, at multiple sittings, and will earn training credit for taking the training. Researchers will follow the officers for six months.
Karen Oehme, director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies, helped to organize the study.
“Officers have stressful jobs — they need up-to-date information and training to be able to deal with situations and encounters with people who are desperate and don’t know where to turn,” Oehme said. “The public deserves to have a police force that has the best training possible.”