Lake County deputies train for fall school entry

Training to focus on de-escalation techniques, recognizing mental health crisis

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Lake County deputies are set to undergo a week's worth of crisis-intervention training. 

The training is part of an overall program for school resource officers. SRO's must take hundreds of hours of instruction on how to best deal with students' behavioral, mental health and other issues.

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Gov. Rick Scott mandated that an SRO be placed in each Florida public school as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The addition is expected to make schools safer and prevent tragedies similar to the one in Parkland on Feb. 14.

Lake County's training this week focuses largely on mental disorders, trauma, students and guns, de-escalation practices, and recognizing symptoms of students in crisis.

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"A kid, their crisis may be I broke up with my boyfriend or girlfriend, or it may be my parents are going through a divorce," Sgt. Fred Jones with the Lake County Sheriff's Office said. "Maybe the attitude was get over it, but this is a legitimate crisis for a kid and it teaches us to address that crisis."

This portion of the training will conclude on Friday with real-life simulations.