LPD trains to help defuse veterans in crisis

LPD trains to help defuse veterans in crisis

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Only a select few decide to serve in the military.

Those who fight, do not always come back the same. Many come back with severe trauma and anxiety that they do not know how to cope with.

To help defuse those veterans who are in crisis Lubbock Police are training to talk them down so a peaceful resolve can be found. 

"Anything we can do to slow things down, to end things in peaceful manner, that's always going to be our goal," said Officer Brooks Jennings.

Jennings is one the officers training new recruits in methods to handle these situations. He said the trainees are put through a variety of scenarios they could possibly encounter on patrol.

"They're very intense, and the main goal is to get the officer in, slowing the scene down, talking, getting to the bottom of it, knowing what their resources are and working through a mock call," he said.

The course is put on with the help of VetStar, a support organization that works with LPD when encountering a veteran in distress.

"Even though it's rare to have a traumatized veteran that is involved with the justice side, but when our police officers do respond to somebody who is trauma affected we want them to understand the cultural issues behind that," said Col. Dave Lewis, Director of VetStar.

Jennings said what these officers are taught will serve them beyond just working with the veterans.

"They're going to take things from this class that they can use on just an everyday call, things to look for, things to key in on and apply those resources and that help," Jennings said.

Lubbock is the first city in Texas outside of Austin to use this program. 

LPD hopes to do this training a few more times throughout the year, with the goal of requiring all officers to go through the course. 

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