Schizophrenia, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, and people struggling with chronic drug and alcohol abuse…. Those coupled with extremely tense situations can be difficult for police officers to maneuver. Corporal Bobby Pietropollo knows firsthand.
He says he responded to an incident involving an Autistic child who had run away from his house. When Corporal Pietropollo found him, the lights on his vehicle overstimulated the youngster, and he started to run. Fortunately, the officer knew the proper action to take and bear-hugged the child, which calmed him down.
The Odessa Police Department goes above and beyond to ensure its officers are properly trained. Recently, OPD held Crisis Intervention Training to equip officers with these kinds of skills. The goal is simple, helping officers de-escalate situations and to build connections with individuals in crisis.