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RCIPS Hosts Mental Health Crisis and De-Escalation Training, 5 June

RCIPS Hosts Mental Health Crisis and De-Escalation Training, 5 June

5th June, 2024 Police Headlines

As part of its commitment to protect vulnerable and at-risk persons, the RCIPS hosted a series of one-day crisis intervention and de-escalation training sessions last week. Professional Crisis and Hostage Negotiator, Lieutenant Mark Lowther, was invited to conduct the training sessions. Lt. Lowther is a retired US Marine Corps veteran with 31 years of experience in policing and public safety, and has instructed law enforcement locally and internationally.


The sessions, one of which was conducted in Cayman Brac, were attended by various RCIPS staff, as well as members of our partner agencies: Customs & Border Control, HM Prison Service, Cayman Airways, Cayman Islands Regiment, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Health Services Authority.


The training focused on identification, understanding and verbal de-escalation of persons in crisis; suicide intervention and autism awareness; as well as lawful powers under the Mental Health Act. There was also an input on the Mental Health Court, provided by Community Psychiatric nurse Dympna Carten.


“De-escalation is an important tool for anyone that comes into contact with someone in crisis,” says Sergeant Jonathan Kern of the RCIPS Training & Development Unit, who helped facilitate the course. “We want to empower our officers and the community with more skills that will enable them to diffuse a situation.”


During the training, Lt. Lowther spoke about the degree to which someone’s personal circumstances can influence how they respond to a situation. “Everyone has a story to tell, let them tell it when you can,” he says.


“While de-escalation forms a key part of the training for all RCIPS officers, these specialized sessions served to further build on that training, allowing our officers to have a deeper understanding of various situations they may find themselves in,” Sergeant Kern added.


The last training session concluded on Friday, 31 May, and we wish all 174 participants all the best as they take what they have learned back to their day-to-day roles.


The RCIPS Training & Development Unit facilitates various forms of training on an ongoing basis for RCIPS staff, and frequently extends this to staff from our partner agencies, to ensure that we have the best tools available to us as we work together to keep the Cayman Islands safe.

Lt. Lowther poses with RCIPS officers and staff from partner agencies at the Cayman Brac session.Lt. Lowther speaks to participants at one of the Grand Cayman sessions.Lt. Lowther & Superintendent Adrian Seales of the RCIPS Training & Development Unit.