NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 got a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of police training that one New Haven officer says helped him save the life of a suicidal man.

Back in July, Officer Chad Curry had to talk a suicidal man into putting down his knife. On Wednesday, he was in a much different role, playing a school principal in a police training scenario. He was telling responding officers that a distraught teacher, played by another officer, has a knife in a nearby stairwell.

It’s all part of what is called ICAT training, which stands for integrating communications, assessment and tactics. Sitting in on today’s training were New Haven’s police chief and Mayor Justin Elicker watching what is a very common situation for police.

“Someone that was really struggling and putting potentially themselves at risk and others at risk,” Elicker said. “The officers introduced themselves, first name, were very respectful.”

Two hundred officers have already gone through this training. The whole department should be done in the next couple weeks. The training has a lot to do with listening before reacting.

“For too long we said, ‘Someone had a knife, they were too close to me, and I shot them because I feared for somebody’s life,'” said Chief Karl Jacobson of the New Haven Police Department. “Now you have an opportunity to slow things down, back up, talk to people.”

Which is exactly what officers in the training scenario did, getting the distraught teacher to come with them peacefully, and it is exactly what happened when Officer Curry made a connection with the man with the knife in real life.

“We have already seen a life saved from this training,” Jacobson said. “When we talk to Officer Curry, he said, ‘This training gave me the confidence I needed to perform the training and do the job and save that person’s life.'”

The training does not end here. The next phase involves what to do and when to step in when a fellow law enforcement officer does something wrong in the field.