YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Several police officers throughout the Mahoning Valley were honored Friday as they completed their training on crisis intervention.

A luncheon and graduation ceremony was held Friday at the YMCA in downtown Youngstown. The Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and NAMI Mahoning Valley worked together for Crisis Intervention Training, and they say the goal is to improve connections between police, mental health providers, hospital emergencies and those struggling with mental illness.

According to Duane Piccirilli, executive director of Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board, officers went through 40 hours of training, where they learned to identify certain mental health resources and provide safety for officers and the community.

“What’s important is we’re training the officers on how to de-escalate the situation,” Piccirilli said. “People with mental health behavior or substance abuse reacts a little differently, so we want to keep the officers safe, the consumers safe and the community safe.”

Piccirilli says all law enforcement departments in Mahoning County have at least one officer trained in Crisis Intervention.