OMAHA, Nebraska (WOWT) – 6 News spoke to two people who helped bring the conflict to a peaceful end on Tuesday.
The suspect, now charged with sexually assaulting a child, expressed suicidal thoughts when detectives arrived.
The clash involved multiple police officers, SWAT teams, deniers and mental health co-responders in a coordinated effort.
Sergeant Brent Kendall was one of the negotiators on the ground.
“Since the situation we face is beyond the usual crises we might deal with, we really need someone who can communicate calmly and effectively and who can think on their feet. Circumstances change dynamically and we need to be able to adjust,” he said.
Also on site at 78th and Crown Point was mental health co-responder Ashley Brugmann.
“People are at stake, so there is no need to rush. There is no need to claim power or tell people what to do. I think that’s the biggest key,” she said.
The Omaha Police Department has begun training officers on mental health de-escalation with its Crisis Response Team.
The Omaha Police Department has six licensed mental health professionals, known as correspondents, with at least one in each district of the city.
“I have noticed that we have quite a bit of buy-in. We are trying to strengthen our program and take advantage of us as much as possible,” said Brugmann, a co-respondent for more than a year.
The program has been around for several years and now helps train officers in techniques used in mental health situations.
“Several of our co-respondents recently underwent mental health first aid training and teenage brain policing. , we can also provide crisis intervention training and service training,” said Brugmann.
Kendall agreed how important training is. He told his 6 News that all officers receive mental health and crisis intervention training alongside these co-responders as part of their curriculum.
“I want any cop who can be on the scene to have those skills so they can resolve the situation before a specialized team is needed,” he said. We are very pleased to have them on the conference call as they have training and resources that we do not have.”
Copyright 2023 WOWT. All rights reserved.