Several police departments across the metro area have used "Crisis Intervention" training to respond to calls in the community involving people with mental illness.

On Monday, the Denver chapter of National Alliance on mental illness honored Denver Police Department officers who used their CIT training in the field.

Officer Michael Morelock and Officer Matthew Hice answered a call in November 2014. They were checking on a man who had texted his girlfriend that he wanted to kill himself.

When they got to the man's house, he had a knife and told them to stay away. Officer Morelock started to use what's called: 'impeccable verbal judo', using strategies to build a rapport with the man including sharing some of his own personal stories.

He says the training helped.

"It's not always about chasing the bad guys and running down the crooks and doing paper work ...sometimes it's about running into people who just need a little extra help."

He and his partner were two of the 19 honored at the luncheon.

Denver Police started the training in 2002.