Officers learn skills to avoid a crisis

They've graduated from the academy, but this week dozens of law enforcement officers are back in the classroom. 

Officers from 10-different agencies are getting Crisis Intervention training.

In one scenario, officers had to calm a man after he had a knife to his throat and a baby in his arms.

The organization, Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley sponsored the training so officers will have "de-escalation" techniques to deal with the mentally ill or those with emotional issues.

"The techniques can be as simple as slowing down, taking your time, and lowering your voice, being patient, being compassionate, being empathetic," explains Executive Director Diane Kelly.

This type of training started in the Roanoke Valley in 2000.

Mental Health America took it over several years ago and now offers two schools a year.