911 operators complete new training

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CHICAGO, IL -- The Office of Emergency Management and communications calls it "an important milestone." All of the city's nearly 500 911 center employees  have now completed mental health awareness and de-escalation training.

 

The training follows the shooting death of Quintonio LeGrier by a Chicago Police officer. LeGrier called 9-1-1 three times on December 26th, 2015.

The teen was allegedly wielding a bat when Officer Robert Rialmo shot and killed him and accidentally killed LeGrier's neighbor Bettie Jones. Rialmo was not charged.

Two 911 dispatchers were suspended without pay. The case highlighted systemic failures in responding to people who may be in mental health crisis.

Janet Cooksey is LeGrier's mother. In response to the shooting, the city rolled out new Mental Health Awareness and De-escalation training. It is an 8 hour course designed to help operators identify when a 911 call requires a response from a Crisis Intervention Trained officer to handle mental health related incidents.

OEMC says as a result of that training and enhancements to the dispatch system, last year there were more than 26-thousand events flagged for crisis intervention compared to just more than 5 thousand in 2015.

We expect to hear more from city officials at a press conference scheduled for Sunday morning.