Pat Strode with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) co-hosted the 40-hour training course designed to teach dispatchers and 911 personnel from the metro and West Georgia areas how to deal with calls from mentally ill people.
Four DCSO dispatchers and two employees of Douglas County E-911 were among the 17 participants in the week-long course.
Sgt. Tracy Sullivan of the DCSO said this was the first course of its kind to be offered in Georgia.
The class used practical exercises like interacting with actors pretending to be frantic 911 callers and classroom work to prepare for a test on Friday.
In one scenario, a caller claimed a mysterious green box had appeared in his yard overnight, and he insisted the 911 operator investigate the situation.
The 911 operator had to keep the caller calm in these scenarios and properly find out if the callers had been taking their medication.
A second trainee acted as a dispatcher during these exercises.
Sgt. Celeste Norris of the DCSO taught the course along with Strode, and she said there may be two of these courses held per year to facilitate the number of dispatchers and 911 operators who need this training.