Mental Illness Training Program for Deputies
Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies, as part of ongoing training, recently completed training on dealing with mental illness. The “Crisis Intervention Training” program was taught by Fred Riddle, a former law enforcement officer with the Richland County Sheriff’s office. Riddle is a veteran of the Vietnam War. The program, which is required for all certified officers, focused on showing officers the importance on how to deal with those who have mental health problems and understanding what causes mental illness. They were also taught the basic definitions and symptoms of mental illness, from depression to schizophrenia to bipolar disorder to post traumatic stress disorder to paranoia and hallucinations. A two year federal grant has made the training possible for law enforcement officers and correctional officers and staff. Individuals with the National Alliance on Mental Health also participated in the event.