CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Cedar Park police officers who answered the call Sunday night had mental health training that goes above and beyond what is required by the state.

Officers found themselves responding to the scene involving Joseph DeSean Taylor, a 26-year-old man police say shot three officers and held family members hostage for 16 hours.

Cedar Park police said Taylor has had previous reports of mental health issues, and that they’ve been to the home before for prior incidents.

Records KXAN obtained from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement confirmed the three officers injured by gunfire have all taken courses on use of force, de-escalation techniques, interacting with the mentally ill, hostage negotiations and mental health officer training.

Former Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix, who left the department in January, told KXAN he is proud of the officers who brought the situation to a peaceful resolution. He said about three years ago the city made a “big commitment” to mental health and de-escalation training for its police officers.

Every officer is required to earn a mental health officer certification, which is an additional 80-hour course that goes beyond the minimum education required during the basic police training academy.

Mannix told KXAN in addition to requiring all officers to become certified mental health officers, the department also provides a mandatory program KXAN highlighted in 2017.

The department was the first in central Texas to put its officers through the Police Executive Research Forum’s Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) Program to help with de-escalation tactics during a crisis call. The training, that is free to every department, was created in 2016 as a way to help officers learn how to interact with people who are suffering from mental health problems or substance abuse.

“The number one principle was sanctity of life, the value of life,” said Tom Wilson with the Police Executive Research Forum. “How do you communicate and talk to [a suspect], engage them and start a conversation while keeping officers safe at the same time?”

Wilson said it starts with officers trying to understand what a suspect in crisis is going through and then defuse the situation through effective communication, which is exactly what Cedar Park police said they did when their skills were put to the test Sunday night.

“If we respond in anger we’re not going to get what we need which is to calm him down or her down, in any case, and get them to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Cedar Park Police Lt. Chanse Thomas during a press conference Monday. “So that no one else gets hurt. You have to keep your emotions in check, but you also have to find the humanity in people.”

Karen Ranus, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Central Texas, commended the department’s actions and efforts to prepare officers for calls that involve people experiencing mental health issues.

“It definitely takes a certain type of training to ensure great outcomes in spite of the challenges that existed,” said Ranus. “Wow, so what a great outcome of in spite of how the day started with police officers shot — and thank goodness they’re okay.”

As the officers recover, Ranus also hopes Taylor and his family are able to find the help and recovery they need.

She is part of numerous mental health training courses for local police officers, and brings people from the community to share their experiences who are healthy and have recovered from painful low points in their life.

Ranus said she always aims help officers add empathy their tool belt.