Two Monroe County deputies, Chelsea Stacks and Marshall Eubanks, completed a Crisis Team Intervention Training program last week in Tupelo that will better equip the sheriff’s department for responding to mental illness calls.

“Mental illness is something that’s becoming more and more frequent we’re having to deal with out on the streets,” said Sheriff Kevin Crook during Oct. 8’s board of supervisors meeting. “They’ll be certified to help with mental health. When we encounter mental illness, they’re the people who will help rectify that situation to get them in the right places with the right resources.”

He said it will be a better approach than housing a person in the county’s jail, where additional issues may arise.

He hopes to have a Crisis Team Intervention Training-certified officer on each shift. The training was at no cost to the county.

Crook has also been in communication with a local mental health care provider to potentially offer a plan for the Monroe County Detention Center, including courses such as G.E.D., anger management and parenting.

“I think it’s something we can get going on to help with the recidivism rate on some of the folks in the county,” he said.

Crook will submit a cost estimate to county supervisors. He added a $20,000 Walmart grant the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received could go towards the cost of the program.

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