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Wausau Police work with mental health experts to de-escalate situations

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wausau Police Department has a working partnership with North Central Healthcare and their CART program.

The program pairs two officers with mental health experts that work as a team responding to crisis situations. Ideally, this would limit the need for officers to use force.

"The mental health professionals being involved is just so crucial because officers really can't be expected to have the full gambit of training and experience with de-escalating individuals in crisis," North Central Healthcare Behavioral Health Director Trisha Stefonek said.

They aren't discounting four-legged therapists either. An on-call therapy dog is available to help out when needed.

If you are in crisis and need help you can contact the Crisis Center at 715-845-4326 or 1-800-799-0122.

Brittany Slaughter

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