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“We had to come up with a different plan,” he said. “We needed to change the way people think. We needed to change the behavior.” Along with continuing enforcement by DUI Task Force officers headed by Sgt. Nick Krau, police joined with community members, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Mayor Michael Victorino’s Vision Zero Maui and family members of Hannah Brown and others killed in traffic crashes to rally against impaired driving. Since a county DUI towing law was implemented in January, 277 vehicles have been towed after drivers were arrested for DUI, Hankins said. “We’ve taken that weapon out of their hand and they can’t get back in their car and hurt or kill someone,” he said. “It’s all of these little pieces we’ve put together that are making a difference.” In social media posts, Hankins said he has seen attitudes toward drunken driving changing. “So we’re changing people’s mindset, but we still struggle to change the behavior,” he said. So far this year, half of the six traffic deaths have been alcohol- or drug-related, he said.


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The Troy Police Department’s try these guys Emotionally Distressed Persons Response Team (EDPRT) is a group of experienced officers, who volunteer for special training to deal with emotionally distressed individuals – suicidal persons, someone exhibiting irrational behavior, homeless men and women – in a variety of situations and psychiatric crises. A team member’s mission is to effectively deal with someone in emotional or mental distress, while preserving that person’s dignity, as well as ensuring their safety and the safety of the community and other team members. The team’s work requires its members to maintain channels of cooperation, coordination, and communication with the agencies and organizations in the community that provide mental health services. “The EDPRT’s success is contingent on its partnerships with these mental health service providers to build a community of understanding, compassion, hope, and recovery for emotionally distressed persons,” Katherine Maciol, president/chief executive officer of CEO in Troy and former commissioner of Rensselaer County’s Mental Health Department explained. She and Troy Police Chief Brian Owens are spokespeople for the training event. “Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, the Troy Police Department’s EDPRT has encountered thousands of emotionally distressed individuals. Because these specially-trained officers are less likely to inflict or incur injuries due to the reduced need for the use of physical force on a distressed-person call, it is likely many, many lives have been saved over the years,” Maciol commented. “We are most grateful that HVCC President Roger Ramsammy immediately embraced the EDPRT mission and signed on to provide a facility for the training," Maciol noted. “It is very fitting that Hudson Valley, a community college, plays a role in bringing this important training to our local law enforcement personnel,” Ramsammy stated.