2017-12-06 / Voice at the Shore

JFS trains law enforcement to handle special needs


Ann Thoresen, JFS Senior Director of Atlantic Homeless Alliance and Justice Involved Services, conducts a training for law enforcement on November 20. Ann Thoresen, JFS Senior Director of Atlantic Homeless Alliance and Justice Involved Services, conducts a training for law enforcement on November 20. For decades, Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been working to assist local law enforcement when interacting with people with special needs. The agency has been conducting law enforcement trainings for more than 10 years.

Recently, the agency participated in the training of more than 600 law enforcement offers in Atlantic County. In partnership with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office (ACPO), this training is entitled “Law Enforcement Response to Individuals with Special Needs/Mental Health Issues”. This curriculum was developed in collaboration with ACPO and the Mental Health Association and covers education on disorders, including symptoms, impact on individual and family, de-escalation techniques and local resources.

In addition to the facts/stats that are covered during the training, JFS provided insight into how the mental health system and legal system often interact/collide. With more than 30 program areas, including many in mental health and the jail/justice system, JFS staff have the knowledge and experience to provide this specialized training.

JFS is scheduled to participate in six more trainings during the remainder of 2017, which will train more than 100 officers. Continued trainings are anticipated for 2018. s

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