BELL COUNTY, Texas – Twenty soldiers from Fort Hood are now formally trained in crisis response after spending a week with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.
This is the first time that the two have teamed up to train on such a sensitive subject. Both departments call the partnership vital, saying it’s a way to demonstrate that not all stops or meetings need to end in an arrest.
“Mental health is a big issue here and it helps the soldiers, they also deal with it on a daily basis in Fort Hood as well as on the civilian side of law enforcement,” said Major TJ Cruz of the County Sheriff’s Department. from Bell.
Fort Hood Military Police officers were trained for 40 hours on how to handle life and death situations.
“The more trained and experienced our soldiers are to respond to these types of calls, the better we can help the people of Fort Hood at the end of the day,” said Captain Kristian Hill, commander of the 178th Law and Defense Detachment. order. at Fort Hood.
Teach soldiers to be open to sensitive situations.
“I think it’s very important to be flexible and adapt to our current environment when it comes to communication and mental health de-escalation,” said Sgt. Teresa Phelps, Mental Health Training with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.
First Lt. Zachary Toler says he receives at least one mental health call every day at Fort Hood.
“It really opens up our perspective on things and allows us to respond appropriately based on that individual’s situation,” Toler said. “It’s amazing now to look back on my experiences on the road and learn now by thinking back to what I could have done better based on what I know now.”
All 20 soldiers received diplomas on Friday afternoon for the completion of the training.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department hopes to continue this program for years to come.