Residents with a mental illness or many other health–related issues pose unique challenges for law enforcement personnel. Police agencies from across the U.P. received training in Marquette on how to properly address those challenges.

Experts say that for police officers, crisis intervention begins with two things: patience and the willingness to listen.

“Active listening goes towards de-escalation,” Pathways jail services liaison Tami LeBlanc said. “De-escalating a situation is very important when you’re talking about crisis intervention, of course. The goal is to get those people that are obviously in need of some help where they need to be, get them the help they need.”

The training sessions were free of charge for U.P. police personnel. Pathways of Marquette received a state grant to cover the cost. The NMU Public Safety Institute also sponsored the program.