Officer Scott Davis is the coordinator of the program, and he says he has first-hand experience with how it benefits police and residents. Several years ago, Davis received a call about a man on a bus with a knife.
"He was jumping on and off RideOn buses saying that people were following him and trying to kill him. When I came on scene, I walked up to him, and he pulled a 12-inch butcher knife on me and said people were trying kill him. I immediately realized it was probably a thought disorder," he says.
Davis says that situation could have ended in many ways, but the training helped him end it safely.
"He started walking at me with the knife, and I actually had to pull my weapon on him. At which point I kept talking to him and talking to him, and I was able talk him down to his knees," he says.
Davis later found out the man suffered from schizophrenia, and had a bad reaction to a change in his medication. After a chance encounter with a member of the man's family a few years ago, Davis discovered the man is now a construction worker in Silver Spring.