GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning recently received the Ohio Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities’ Law Enforcement Award for the Gallia Sheriff’s Office efforts in its crisis intervention training in attempts to learn how to handle tense situations with individuals who may have mental issues or developmental disabilities.
“The Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities is a group of 21 members from different parts of the state of Ohio who review what they’ve learned from their geographical areas having to do with the disabled population,” said Marshall Kimmel, council member. “Normally, they will bring concerns that need to be conveyed to the governor’s office. It’s a grassroots way to convey information and to bypass political issues. We send this issues and concerns directly to the governor’s office.”
Once a year, the council gets together to select individuals they feel have done an outstanding job in different areas and vocations of work that encounter individuals with disabilities.
“Joe Browning has been outstanding particularly as an advocate for crisis intervention training,” said Kimmel. “It teaches law enforcement and emergency medical personal as well as the fire department in how to handle people in a crisis. We as individuals who work with the disabled population, we’re trying to promote CIT programs all over the state. This is a win-win situation for us. (Browning) has done a fantastic job with his (resources).”
Kimmel said the council would like to see all Ohio’s police “updated” with crisis intervention training. Kimmel said one of the key statements of the council used is that it costs a lot less in training then it is to pay in liability when making an arrest in a controversial situation. Council members would like to see police able to deescalate situations with individuals with disabilities and have that situation be more manageable than take those individuals into custody in the event a crisis occurs.
Kimmel has sat on the council for nine years and is a Gallia County resident.
“I’m honored to receive the award on behalf of our team at the sheriff’s office, the local CIT board and the citizens we serve,” said Gallia Sheriff Browning.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-4446-2342, ext. 2103