Former Wayne deputy, law enforcement veteran says officers have to go through extensive mental health training ::

— The training that the Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies receive to handle mental health crises well-prepared the three deputies who responded to Jourdan Hamilton’s home on Monday morning, according to a law enforcement veteran of 40 years.

Jim Davenport, a former Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy, said that he knows from first-hand experience the kind of extensive training that officers have to go through before they respond to a call for an involuntary commitment order to a home in Dudley.

Davenport said during his three years at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, he underwent a 2-week crisis intervention training.

“They taught us how to deescalate situations how to talk to people better,” Davenport said.

The 40-hour program places an emphasis on helping people in need find treatment instead of sending them to jail.

They teach deputies to ask questions like, “what medications are you taking,” and “have you been diagnosed with any illnesses?”

Davenport said all training for law enforcement officers is vital, because officers have to be prepared for everything.

“You are in a situation where you don’t know what you are going to run into,” he said. “You are dealing with a person in crisis.

According to data from the Crisis Intervention Team North Carolina, only a handful of counties have more than 26% of their officers trained to deal with a mental health crisis. The most recent data provided by the organization was from 2015, so it is possible that number could be higher now.

Officers who have been through CIT training will wear black pins and black bands to show they are certified.

On Monday morning, Hamilton shot three Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies, killing Sgt. Matthew Fishman.

Davenport said he briefly worked with Fishman in court.

“He was a good leader,” Davenport said. “He didn’t send two of his people in there alone.”

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