Haven, the staff’s remedy canine, joined the rising staff and shortly started serving to with calls.
“It simply melts folks,” stated the sergeant. Stewart Privid, who leads the staff, which known as OPCAT for brief.
Officer Justin Shepard, a member of the staff, remembers when it was solely him and one of many responders taking part within the OPCAT. Now, it is grown to 4 educated Disaster Intervention Crew officers and 6 response contributors and Haven, with room for extra.
The staff is allowed 12 law enforcement officials, however now solely has 4 on account of Employees scarcity.
The staff is a partnership between Overland Park Police Division and the Johnson County Division of Psychological Well being To reply psychological well being calls with professionals educated in disaster intervention. The Overland Park Psychological Well being Process Pressure Beneficial enlargement final yr and The town council voted 9-1 in approval The price range final September included a rise within the staff’s property taxes. Additionally they acquired almost $250,000 from the Division of Justice.
Their purpose is to pair specifically educated officers with licensed psychological well being professionals to reply psychological well being calls. Officers bear coaching in disaster intervention and may additionally conduct extra superior coaching for specialties akin to seniors, juveniles, homelessness, and negotiation.
Privid, who leads the OP, stated that when it expanded, many patrol officers expressed curiosity in becoming a member of the staff, however that the open patrol officer positions should be crammed earlier than anybody can transfer into the OP unit.
The OP-CAT was created in 2013 with a disaster intervention staff specialist and one co-responder from the Johnson County Division of Psychological Well being. It grew to 2 ICT professionals and three response contributors in early 2021 earlier than agreeing to broaden once more final September.
The remedy canine, Haven, is simply over a yr previous and is exclusive to a bloodhound. Prived stated she was initially introduced in as a remedy canine for officers and employees solely, however is now making some calls with officers.
Privid stated every thing needed to line up correctly so she may get out to make a name. The state of affairs must be proper for her to assist and the caller ought to comply with her being there.
He remembers an incident the place a pal of one in every of them tried to shoot them, however the ammunition within the gun wasn’t proper, so it did not explode. The sufferer was in a position to sit and pet Haven whereas ready for investigators to reach.
It was the primary huge occasion in Haven with the general public after faculty The taking pictures at Olathe East Excessive College In March, 18-year-old pupil Jaylon Elmore allegedly shot Eric Clark, a faculty useful resource officer.
Elmore and Clark and assistant supervisor Caleb Staubble have been wounded within the taking pictures.
Courageous stated the scholars advised him they did not even know they wanted a sanctuary that day. They thought they have been advantageous As a result of Courageous stated they have been across the faculty when the taking pictures occurred. However Heaven helped them loosen up.
Her belt says “sniffer canine” on one aspect and “pamper me” on the opposite. Prived stated the youngsters love her as a result of she’s one of many few bloodhounds they will work together with.
Whereas the staff and assets have grown, Shepherd hopes they are going to proceed to work in direction of 24/7 help. He stated he hopes they’re going to be somebody’s first level of contact when making a disaster name, however he can direct them to the suitable assets in Johnson County to assist them.