Local Scene: Fentanyl awareness event

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Event provides resources on fentanyl, other opioids

The Santa Clara County Opioid Overdose Prevention Project will be hosting an event in recognition of International Opioid Awareness Day on Aug. 20 from 11am to 2pm at the Gilroy City Plaza, 7351 Rosanna St.

Mayor Marie Blankley will provide some brief remarks followed by the District Attorney’s office and testimonials of local families affected by overdose.

Resources will be available, including health care booths and free Narcan training.

Rotary welcomes law enforcement trainer

The Rotary Club of Gilroy will welcome John Costa, law enforcement trainer and liaison specializing in mental health and intervention practices, on Aug. 23 at noon at the Gilroy Lodge on the Hill, 2765 Hecker Pass Highway. 

Bringing a 31-year career in law enforcement, Costa joined the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Department and is a part of a training team using video simulations to train public safety personnel in effective de-escalation techniques related to mental health or cognitive crisis situations. He is also a faculty member in the West Valley College Administration of Justice Department.

One of the hallmarks of the Liaison Team is a training tool, Interactive Video Simulation Training instruction (IVST). Recognized as a leading training format that focuses on a better understanding of situations involving mental health or intellectual disabilities for law enforcement, the program involves video simulations and interactive modes that represent myriad mental health-related challenges that mirror real-life situations which will be demonstrated at the Rotary meeting on Aug. 23.

The program was initiated in 2007 when Rotarian Pat Dwyer retired from a 35-year career in law enforcement. He was recruited to be the first lead Mental Health Department Law Enforcement Liaison and developed the team that launched the first IVST program in the nation.

The Rotary Club of Gilroy meets every Tuesday at the Gilroy Elks Lodge at noon. Cost of the program and buffet lunch is $25, and guests are invited to attend. For information about the Rotary Club of Gilroy, current community service projects, or upcoming programs, contact Rod Pintello at 408.337.1599 or [email protected]

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A staff member edited this provided article.

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