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Local man riding bike in son's memory, crisis-intervention requirements

June 30th, 2014 - 5:34am

(Port Angeles) A Port Angeles man begins a bicycle trek across the state today.

Bill Berger is promoting efforts to better train first-responders with crisis intervention training.

Berger's son, Will, was killed last year after suffering a manic episode and being arrested by Spokane County Sheriff's officers. Berger says after multiple units were called to the scene, deputies tasered him, beat him and eventually pinned his neck. Will eventually died. His death was ruled a homicide.

Bill Berger says poor crisis intervention training led to his son's death. Will had suffered from manic episodes occasionally since his teen years.

Bill is using his bike trip to survey levels of training with law enforcement. He's also raising awareness to a foundation he's formed in Will's honor and promoting legislation that is stalled in Olympia that would require all law enforcement receive an additional 40 hours of crisis-intervention training.

Berger plans to be in Mason and Lewis counties today. He addressed the Port Angeles City Council about the issues earlier this month and will also will be back in Port Angeles to ride to Seven Cedars Casino on the Fourth of July.

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