Command and Staff Program

Crisis Intervention Teams

Replies
335
Voices
176
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
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    Monte Potier

    It was interesting to hear the percentages of the mentally ill that were homeless (46%). Since my city has a large homeless population a CIT team may help with the crimes being committed in those areas that are populated by the homeless.

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      Miranda Rogers

      My agency is part of a Crisis Intervention Team and I can say that the way officers handle a crisis with a person of mental illness has improved drastically.

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        Denise Boudreaux

        I agree, my agency has a CIT and it has improved the way employees handle and interact with persons with mental illness. Enhanced training has also helped with this.

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      Deana Hinton

      Monte, this percentage mirrors itself within our jail systems. There is a great need for CIT and other diversion programs. The mentally ill commit many of their offenses due to the symptoms of mental health and there are few accessible resources to address this reality. IIt is an issue once they get to the jail, as we cannot force medications and we do not have to programing needed to help these folks.

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      Jack Gilboy

      I attended CIT training in 2013. I was an amazing class that shows you basic active listening skills and simple ways to deal with people with mental illness. After completing the course, it was much easier to identify someone with mental illness. It has greatly helped me throughout my career.

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    Mike Brown

    It amazing that as large as my city is that we don't not have a CIT program. Although there is a need for this program, we as a city has yet to find the right person in charge to spearhead these efforts.

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      Joey Prevost

      Yes Sir, you would think that with the enormous homeless population that we would have something like this to try and deal with it.

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      Drauzin Kinler

      Very surprised to hear that a large agency does not have CIT Teams. It would drastically improve the ability to deal with these individuals accordingly.

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      Lance Leblanc

      Mike, about four or five years ago our agency and several others in our area started a CIT program. They had a few meeting then it went away because of failed leadership.

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        Lt. Mark Lyons

        Unfortunately that seems to be common for a lot of other agencies. It all starts at the top. The leadership fails because they don't buy in to the program or recognize the benefits. They don't take it serious and that mind set spreads to everyone else.

        I believe programs like CIT and others need to be lead by someone who deeply understands the need for the program and is passionate about it's intended purpose.

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          Eduardo Palomares

          Hello Lt. Lyons. You are absolutely correct. The CIT philosophy begins at the top but it must be fostered among all ranks for effectiveness. CIT is actually my specialty. I have worked in the mental health field for close to 9 years and teach a POST certified course on behavior health crisis intervention. Our Chief is very supportive of this approach and recognizes the advantages of having our personnel being CIT trained. We take this approach very serious and emphasize to our patrol officers that the CIT approach works. They believe it because we believe it, translating into a widespread belief of safety. I am fortunate to work with a great group of professionals that demonstrate compassion and empathy for people experiencing mental health issues.

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          I think part of the issues with failed programs is due to individuals being forced into the program as opposed to volunteers. Also, the programs that are an extra assignment for officers who already have secondary and on top of an already busy primary assignment leads to the program losing steam. It would definitely need to start with the right leader and support to open and sustain the program.

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            Travis Linskens

            Nathan,
            Great point! We were able to find a person passionate enough at our agency to get it started. The program as taken off and had an extremely positive impact on our community and deputies.

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            Justin Payer

            Nathan, I agree. This has to be a program that an officer wants to be a part of. If they are forced into it the program will fail.

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            Curtis Summerlin

            I agree, it is a job for motivated individuals with an inclination for the work. Assigning someone who isn’t fully committed would lead to failure. The agency command would have to fully back this program as well. It should not be a “topic of the month” approach…

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          I agree with not assigning an officer to the CIT but to have a officer volunteer for the position is better. Someone who expressed interest in this topic would be a better fit for implementing a program.

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          Paul Brignac III

          I am pleased to say that my agency sent myself and one other employee to a training hosted by "Force Science" in Orlando, FL in 2018. Since returning from the course we have implemented the training we received in our in-service training as well as our FTO program.

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        Nicole Oakes

        I do remember that there was a team put in place and I always wondered why it was not active. New Orleans, La. has an amazing CIT.

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      chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

      After reviewing this module Mr. Brown maybe you can present a slide with this information so that your team can start implementing training or sending your people to training on this matter. As a person that is CIT trained this is a huge tool that is added to everything else on our belt. Sometimes communicating with them the right way eliminates us from having to use any other intermediate tools.

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    Joey Prevost

    I wasn't surprised to see the percentage of homeless that have a mental illness. I work in the same city as Capt. Potier and Capt. Brown. We do have what seems like a hugs homeless population. Obvious most suffer from either a mental illness or a chemical dependency. Booking someone into the correctional facility isn't always the answer and they do not have the resources to deal with someone in crisis. A trained CIT would help these individuals get to the resources they need.

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      Judith Estorge

      I agree our options are limited currently when dealing with mental illness. It is unfortunate that more isn't done to help people suffering with various disorders. The mental health community will continue to grow if not confronted.

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      Nancy Franklin

      I have found in my experience with supervising our CIT that a large percentage of our homeless population have co-occurring mental health and dependency issues such as drug addiction and/or alcoholism. These factors tend to increase their mental health deterioration, which is why it is important to develop a network of resources aimed at addressing a multitude of needs for the individuals whom we encounter on our streets.

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      Laurie Mecum

      Joey, you are right....jail isn't always the right answer for these types of people. Resources are limited. More mental health facilities are definitely needed to handle people like this.

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        Totally agree with you Laurie, we definitely need more mental health facilities. Most of these people need real treatment, not jail time.

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      I would agree that I wasn't surprised by the amount of homeless people that have a mental illness. I think that mental illnesses that go untreated often lead to people out on the streets because they don't have anyone else to care for them or no one that will take interest in trying to help them. Once out on the street, it is sad to say but it seems like they have a lot less chance of anyone reaching out to them to get them the help that they need.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    CIT teams have been implemented at our agency. The effectiveness of having CIT officers is invaluable. It is a program that all law enforcement organizations should adopt. By gaining the knowledge provided in these certification classes, it provides officers with the additional tools needed to address individuals with these severe mental health issues.

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      Jason Porter

      I think these types of teams can be instrumental in the corrections arena. Even with a psychologist on staff, the need for deputies to be trained in this area would be very helpful.

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    Jason Porter

    The jail population percentage seems a little low in my opinion. That just might be our jails. The need for a team like this is definitely a concern for our agency. It seems like every other person brought to jail suffers from some type of mental illness. The ability to recognize this and deal with these people on a different level would definitely decrease the use of force incidents we encounter.

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    Judith Estorge

    CIT is a model of assistance any community would benefit from. Our agency does not do much to assist the homeless or mental illness. It is a difficult area for the community and L.E. to confront. Additional training as this may get us headed in that direction.

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      Dan Wolff

      Judith Estorge,
      With the amount of commitment orders our organization deals with, understanding mental illness is very beneficial in handling the call. We started training during our in-service but, for some reason stopped. It is trained very little in our FTO program but it wouldn’t hurt our organization to refresh everyone more often.
      Dan

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      Donnie

      We don’t have a lot of homeless in my parish. Having a CIT would benefit our agency anyway when we come across specific instances where we do have mentally ill homeless people. We get the occasional disturbance from mentally ill people and usually deal with it based on the minimal training we have.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I agree, coming from a larger agency to a smaller agency, we didn't have the CIT at either. I see it being an asset even in the smaller agency even though we don't have a homeless issue.

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    Dan Wolff

    Our agency at one time started training during in-service to make our deputies aware of CIT but have not set a specific team designated for such calls. We deal with Coroner Commitment orders and Emergency Commitment orders on a frequent basis in patrol and its very good information to know and to be diverse in. Our new patrol officers have training through our FTO program but that is about the extent of it any more.

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      David Ehrmann

      Having a formal CIT can help reduce the frequency of police contact with the mentally ill. In Louisiana, we have a state statute that allows officers to do an emergency law enforcement committal. An officer who recognizes the need for a mental health evaluation can transport that consumer to the hospital, no commitment paperwork needed, to have them evaluated by an emergency room physician.

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        dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

        David, you are absolutely correct. We are extremely lucky to have CIT certified officers. I have witnessed their effectiveness in dealing with the mentally ill.

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    Nancy Franklin

    The Chino Police Department is the first agency in our county to develop and implement a Crisis Intervention Team. I have been a supervisor of this team since it's development and inception and am please to report that the program has made a significant impact in our community and the manner in which our officers deal with mental health-related calls for service. Just in the first year of implementation, our agency realized a 30% reduction in the amount of WIC holds our officers completed for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. This indicates that officers were actively utilizing the network of resources to defer individuals from hospitalizing and link them to resources aimed at providing long-term solutions rather than "Band-Aid" fixes that inevitably lead to repeat calls for service.

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      Brian Johnson

      Nancy, the Chino PD has always been a progressive police department looking for best practices. Your comments made me realize that we need to train more of our officers as part of our CIT program. I appreciate your comments. Brian

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      Clint Patterson

      Thank you, Nancy, for service in dealing with this increasingly important issue. Your statement about the “Band-Aid” fixes is so incredibly true. If we as officers arrest a person with a mental health condition for a disturbance, they go to jail, the judges release them due to their mental capacity, and the revolving door effect starts all over again without a CIT.

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    Brian Johnson

    The El Centro Police Department implemented a CIT many years ago and we continue to recruit and train new officers/supervisors that have an interest in CIT. In addition, we recently implemented a homeless outreach team, which made me realize that we need to train more patrol officers to better handle CFS dealing with the mentally ill, which will hopefully reduce our 5150 holds, much like Chino PD.

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    Clint Patterson

    A crisis intervention team is vital to a police agency. Our agency has a crisis intervention team. Officers are offered the training, and if they elect to participate in the certification, then they can become certified. I have had the opportunity as a crisis/hostage negotiator to work with Jefferson Parish CIT discussed in this module, and they genuinely have a great team. Their team is a critical tool with the amount of mentally ill interactions in their jurisdiction. Mental health is dramatically increasing, and all police officers need to be trained in how to handle the mentally ill so they will be more comfortable with engagement.

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      Roanne Sampson

      Clint, I agree mental illness disorders are steadily increasing in society. CIT is the way to go in order to help these individuals get appropriate care.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Having previously worked at a hospital that had a psych unit, it was quite obvious that we have a large mental health population. Our unit was always full and had a waiting list. We received patients from all over the state because there just are not enough facilities for people. It was even worse after Hurricane Katrina. Having teams like CIT is a real asset in dealing with this population. They are unpredictable and usually do not have control over their actions.

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      Agreed, these events are largely unpredictable and can be quite stressful to those who are unfamiliar with these situations. Being able to preserve the life of those and all around becomes challenging when the person who is ill can not be engaged with usual training and situations.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    My agency seemed to ramp up a version of a CIT a few years back and it appears to have tapered off. The momentum, possibly motivated by legislation, diminished and the program was absorbed into another. We still receive training but not at the level initially proposed. I do feel the training provided some insight and has left officers a better understanding of who to call and what to do when they encounter a mentally ill subject.

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    David Ehrmann

    My agency has provided crisis Interview Teams (“CIT”) or CIT training for over a decade. I was first introduced to CIT in 2002, where I was trained at a behavioral institution on responding to and dealing with the mentally ill. After Hurricane Katrina, many behavioral health centers closed and were never reopened, thus increasing police interaction with the mentally ill. Our agency created a formal CIT several years ago to help effectively interact with the mentally ill. This program has had a significant effect on officers being able to recognize the need for mental health treatment versus incarceration.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Crisis Intervention Teams are very important. They are genuinely care and handle mentally ill people appropriately. They have also helped decrease the jail population by helping place these individuals into hospitals, which helps our correctional staff. Our agency has a CIT team and these officers are phenomenal in what they do. Every agency should have a CIT team.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      I agree it is very valuable to have a CIT team. My only complaint is that some subjects who are known to have a history of mental illness are still arrested instead of being taken to a hospital. Or the hospital don't want to deal with them.

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    Brian Lewis

    We have one of the largest train depots West of the Mississippi that contributes to our large homeless population. So I wasn't surprised when I heard that 46% of the homeless were mentally ill. It seems like more and more the homeless we encounter are dealing with some sort of mental illness. We had created a Crisis Intervention Team a few years back. The plan for CIT is to train patrol personnel on de-escalation tactics as well has having patrol officers that have been to advanced mental illness training strategically spread out throughout the patrol teams so they could be a resource. Due to personnel issues, we haven't been able to fully implement the CIT concept yet.

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    Lance Leblanc

    In my department, they started a Crisis Invention Team and it went away just as fast as it started. By looking at the comments by the people in my department, none of them even knew we had one. Today in my city there is a large population of homeless people and CIT needed now more than ever.

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      Amanda Pertuis

      Hopefully your department can pick it back up. CIT has been very beneficial to our agency and our citizens.

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      Christian Johnson

      Do anything and everything you can to get the program restarted, Lance.

      It has been an absolute game changer for us in MANY ways.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    Our dispatchers receive a great CIT training tailored to dispatchers. It's informational and provides useful tips for dispatchers speaking to the mentally ill over the phone. I think all agencies should train their dispatchers and field responders.

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      Henry Dominguez

      Our dispatchers also receive CIT training as well as our officers. It does help in dealing with the individual who has mental health issues but definitely not the frequency. It just seems like a revolving door with our situation, especially because the mental health facility is in our city so we are also dealing with patients who are released out the front door from other jurisdictions and into the streets of our city.

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        Frank Acuna

        I agree with this statement, we too have a mental health facility that is used by many outside jurisdictions. Unfortunately upon their release, we at times have to deal with them again.

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    Christian Johnson

    I cannot speak enough about how effective CIT has been for us and myself personally.

    I first received training in 2011.

    Working in Corrections, I have used it more than any other training I have had in my career.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    I believe crisis intervention teams are a vital tool for agencies to have. Knowing how to effectively communicate and recognize the signs of mental illness can reduce officer involved injuries and injuries to the subject. The only issue is that in Louisiana there are still not enough hospitals to treat the mentally ill, so must are still arrested.

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      Lance Landry

      Rocco you are correct about not enough mental health facilities. We utilize regular emergency rooms on a regular basis for mental evaluations based on protective custody laws.

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    Lance Landry

    Increased awareness and education of mental illnesses can benefit all members of law enforcement. The prevalence of increased encounters with those suffering from mental illnesses can surely benefit by officers trained in crisis intervention. When handled appropriately, it decreases an agency’s liability due to inappropriate use of force as well as injuries to officers.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      This is a very good point you made Lance. There is an increased likelihood officers will encounter someone suffering from mental illness. Having the training, knowledge and experience that comes with CIT. Officers and agencies can benefit from reduced liability and reduced likelihood of injury to either the officer or the patient.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with your comment, proper training in this area would decrease the agencies civil liability.

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    Donnie

    I can see where a Crisis Intervention Team would benefit an agency and the community it serves. This lecture discusses having a fully dedicated team to crisis intervention and our agency doesn’t have one that I know of. We have training on dealing with mentally ill persons that is addressed yearly during our POST re-certification requirements. It certainly appears that starting one could be costly and time consuming but the benefits would outweigh that.

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    Burke

    Crisis Intervention teams is a very important tool in law enforcement. In the great state of Alabama, we rank very low on proper mental health care. A CIT could be a good tool to offset some of this.

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      CIt would be a great tool for your agency and it would also be a great way to show the community that the agecny understands the needs of mental health and provideing the propery steps to ensure that, instead of just taking them to jail as most agencies have done in the past.

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    McKinney

    I think that having a trained unit to address mental disorders would be an invaluable asset for an agency. Specialized training for members to include working with a specialist in this field could provide the necessary care that a person needs.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree that adequately trained officers could provide the needed attention in the field. Still, the issue we all see is the lack of professional facilities in our community to give them the help they truly need

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        Major Stacy Fortenberry

        Its gotten worse over the years. We have fewer treatment facilities now than 15-20 years ago. If the patient has insurance they have a chance at treatment. If not they usually end up in our jail.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    I think that every leader in police organizations must recognize the need for Crisis Intervention Teams. Like Dr. Normore pointed out there is an ever decreasing number of mental health services for the mentally ill. The example of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is one that every police agency could follow and adopt.

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      Although it was briefly mentioned, the drastic decreast in mental health services over the last 50 plus years have left the system struggling to keep up. With drastically fewer beds and an emphasis on out patient care and families being expected to care for consumers with serious mental health issues many families don't have the resources to care for consumers who can't take care of themselves. Society looks to law enforcement as its first line of defense for social short comings and that has led to law enforcement now being at the forefront of the mental health epidemic. If all an agency has in its tool chest is handcuffs then mental health is treated as a criminal act and problem patients are simply put in jail to get rid of the problem.

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    CIT has become previllent in many progressive law enforcement agencies. I am familiar with the JPSO Academy and their leader Dr. Arie. His commitment to CIT is evident as he assists with presentations at the St. Charles SO and my own Regional Academy for CIT. Even before his program the Calcasieu Parish S. O. was very well established and held two to three CIT training annually. Many of the leaders who empowered the growth of CIT in South Louisiana were very envolved in Crisis Negotiations. The foundation of active listening skills connects the two disciplines. The big difference is CITs collaboration with community resources especailly the mental health community. The knowledge and understanding of what consumers go through on a daily and even minute to minute basis is sobering and eye opening. The diversion aspect and awareness of mental illness as a contributing factor in the legal system is perhaps the greatest benefit of CIT programs. In the footsteps of drug court, some jurisdictions with the resources to support it have started mental health courts as well.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    CIT Training is something every officer should have to go through. For too long, we just dealt with the mentally ill as if they were anyone else. In my career, I have observed an increase in younger individuals with mental illness due to substance abuse, which grew as the methamphetamine epidemic grew in our community.

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      McKinney

      Lt., you brought an interesting point relating mental health to substance abuse. I can agree that the availability of certain narcotics such as methamphetamine and synthetics have impacted our younger generation. I have personally seen their health deteriorate, especially in their mental capacity.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    We do not have a CIT team. Our agency is still trying to come to grips with the communities growth from a rural agriculture area to one of a more urban type. Our training in this area is improving and we have recently partnered with mental health. One of our biggest issues is a lack of viable options. Unless they are an imminent threat to themselves or others the facilities will not take them. We are left with booking being the only recourse.

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      mtroscla@tulane.edu

      Our department does not have a dedicated team, however we require every officer to train and keep current in CIT yearly, it may be a good starting point.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Having a dedicated crisis intervention team as demonstrated by the information in the lecture is a valuable addition to any Department. However due to budgetary constraints it may not be possible to dedicate the number of people required to staff a team. In our Department we took the step of having every single officer trained in crisis intervention, so that they have the tools available to them should the need arise.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      Our agency has also recognized the need to have all officers trained in CIT and before the COVID pandemic put a halt on the trainings, we were well on our way.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    CIT is something our agency has and will continue to focus in order to improve our response to our community. Although we do not have a dedicated CIT, we have sent many officers through the training and have even set it as part of our regional training academy curriculum in order to train the future officers not only at our agency but those of who attend the academy. As a patrol supervisor, I find we are dealing more and more with people who have a mental issue due to state budgetary constraints and the closing of mental health facilities. It is important for our officers to recognize the signs of mental health problems and not to treat these consumers as just another person who needs to be imprisoned.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    The learning in Module 4 is a very important module to pay attention to. CIT is a huge asset in today's world. Myself and others at my agency have been certified in this training and it has helped identify subjects quickly that have an illness. One incident I will share if that one of my fellow CIT members talked a mental illness person from jumping of a bridge using the techniques given in CIT training. He was able to save that person's life and lead him to further assistance for mental help. CIT is a very important tool to have.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    My office does not currently have a CIT Team. We are seeing more people with mental illness with having no alternatives other than having them evaluated by a doctor or jail. We are in need of a team of deputies who are willing and able to be trained in CIT. I will be making this proposal in the near future.

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      dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      I would be willing to assist you guys if you have interests in starting a team. I was tasked here in St. Charles with that in 2010. It is a great benefit to your community, partnerships are forged, and trust amongst those in crisis with police is solidified.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    Being part of creating a CIT within my agency is a legacy I am proud of. It takes many people collaborating for the benefit of assisting those in crisis with trust that the police are actually there to help them and not take them to jail.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      You do a great job with CIT intervention and training the new officers that take the CIT class. This is a good program that is offered and all police officers should attend.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Darren, you and Jody did a great job and should be proud of your work. We have watched the results in our own agency, with a reduction in barricades, SWAT rolls and physical altercations between deputies and person's in crisis. Hats off to you.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      Great job. The program has definitely been beneficial to our department. Not only with dealing with people with mental illness. Some of the things taught in our program can be used on the general public who are not suffering with mental illness, but are just angry and amped up.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Lt. Gros,
      This is truly an extraordinary and multidimensional program! It helps illustrate our genuine intent to help all members of the community.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    Having worked for a larger agency with a large homeless population, there was no CIT training. I definitely see where it could have benefited us greatly. Now being at a smaller agency with almost no homeless population, I still see where it can be beneficial and will have to look into getting the training for our officers.

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    Chasity Arwood

    CIT training would greatly benefit my agency and the community. We are seeing an increase in the homeless population in our area, as well as, an increasing number of OPC's that are officers are tasked with serving.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    CIT training is a rewarding and beneficial training class. I believe all officers should attend this training if available. I learned a lot of information from this class and it has helped me on the streets as well.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    We have seen big improvements over the past ten years or so in our CIT program. We send officers a couple of times a year to a 40-hour training program. Since we started the CIT program we have seen a decrease in the number of SWAT call out and barricade subject call outs. We have also had a decrease in the number of physical altercations between deputies and persons in crisis. From a team leader for Crisis Negotiator standpoint, I believe our program works and I am appreciative that the men and women on the street take it seriously and handle it very professionally.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    Having CIT certified officers in our agency has been invaluable. I have witnessed first hand the effectiveness of a CIT officer. I have seen them talk down mentally ill subjects instead of using force to subdue them. It was a relief that we did not have to risk injury to not only our officers but for the patient as well.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    Unfortunately, mental illness is very prevalent in our area. Fortunately, I work for the JPSO whose program was highlighted in this module. Almost every officer in our patrol division has been trained with 40 hour course. I can attest to the fact that it has greatly improved our ability to interact with the mental health consumer in our jurisdiction. It also has helped our deputies in interactions with the general public. I have been through the JPSO CIT course and can say it is one of the best and most helpful classes that I have been through in my 32 year law enforcement career.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      It is good to have an agency close to home that has such a good model to follow with a topic like this.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I was scheduled to attend this course with your agency before the COVID pandemic. I will look forward to the rescheduled date even more after reviewing this module. I am especially interested in learning the available assets to utilizing when dealing with the consumers. It will also be good to be able to ensure the safety of the officers and consumers alike when properly trained to handle the varying situations.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    CIT training and a Unit for officers in my agency would be huge help. We are currently seeing an increase in these types of calls and this specific training would help with officers talking with a subject instead of fighting and getting injured.

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    CIT is a vital role in any agency now, our citizens are watching our every move, and want to see reform. If we look at not only the COVID-19 pandemic but the protests that have occurred recently, mental health calls for service have increased. Officers who have this training carry crucial skills to help a person in crisis or de-escalate a tense scene.

    We also need to make sure that we have CIT resources available for our officers and staff to make sure they are mentally available.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree we are in times where we need to have as much training as possible to interact with any individuals because we are so closely watched by the public.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree everything that is done by law enforcement is being scrutinized, having a CIT program will educate officers so that the will be able to handle these situation appropriately.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    The benefits of having an operable Crisis Intervention Team are becoming more and more obvious in the atmosphere of the world we currently work in. It was no surprise that 1 in 4 adults experience a mental health issue in any given year, our calls for service will back those numbers up year after year. I am excited to get the opportunity hopefully soon after completion of this course to attend the JPSO CIT training program which I have been postponed from due to the COVID pandemic.

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      dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      Dustin, St. Charles and Lafourche co-host a 40 hour certification course once a month, free of charge.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      We have had several officers go through the training and like you the next group of officers couldn't go. The good thing about the training is that most officers will share what they learn and that is very helpful.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    This module brought to light how much I don't know about our agency's Crisis Intervention Team. Due to the responsibilities of my position I know many of our key players to contact when we have to deal with someone mentally ill at our facility; however, as a support staff member this isn't something I encounter as often as those who are working in an enforcement capacity.

    This lesson is presenting an opportunity for me to learn more about the history of our agency and operations. In knowing where we have come from helps better understand where we are going in the future.

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      I felt the same way after going through the module. I realized how much I didn't know about the CIT. We send communications specialists to CIT training, and we know who we need to contact in the event the team is needed. However, I don't know the history and the details of the team.

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    In this module, I was reminded of the importance of having an effective Crisis Intervention Team. I believe that when officers are properly trained to deal with the mentally ill, it provides a peaceful and helpful resolution. I feel that all law enforcement agencies need a CIT to be able to connect the mentally ill to the right resources.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      This is so very important because i see an increase in health care facilities wanting to use the police when they rather not. This training can assist everyone with reduction of injuries and litigation to have the correct and best opportunity to resolve.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      The CIT training i received has aided me in more peaceful resolutions, then before my training. It amazing with the training you can create a bond over something as small as visible tattoos, and create a conversation that gets the subjects mind off of his issues and willing to open up.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I agree, Having officers trained in CIT is important to have. I found it to be a great tool after attending the training myself.

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      I totally agree. There are so many calls for service involving law enforcement that could be handled better by CIT and/or social workers. Sadly, law enforcement usually only has one way of dealing with problems: Put them in jail. That's just not where most of these mentally ill people need to be.

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      Kaiana Knight

      I totally agree. Officers get so many calls regarding mental illness and if they are not appropriately trained, things can go bad really quick on those calls.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    I believe having a CIT is imperative because of the drastic increase in mental patients. I believe training should be required for all Corrections, Patrol Officers Detectives and Dispatchers, so that when we as law enforcement professional deal with mental patients, can do so safely.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    I would love to see this implemented in our agency to help reduce potential injuries and have effective and correct moral resolution to someone that suffers mental illness. I have seen more to often of healthcare facilities wanting law enforcement to arrest mental subjects for disturbing the peace, when its clear that the judicial system will not give them any help in their condition.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    We have several officers who have attended the JPSO CIT training course, one of which was on my watch before he got promoted. He provided us all with a different point of view when dealing with mentally ill persons. I believe that our Chief would eventually like to have everyone go through the training.

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    Royce Starring

    I found this section very interesting, I did realize that the numbers of mentally ill people was that high. 1 out of every 4 people 25% of the population suffer from some form of mental illness. Now 46% of the homeless population I thought was low. I thought the number would have been 50% or better. None the less these numbers reflect the need for every agency to implement a CIT in their department.

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    Henry Dominguez

    I understand the importance of having a Crisis Intervention Team and it will definitely help out any agency. But even if you are not able to have a team, we have found it very helpful to have our officers go to CIT training. Our dispatchers as well as our officers attend these trainings as to give them a better understanding of the mental health aspect of individuals we come in contact with.

  • Edit

    My agency has several deputies who have attended the CIT training, but we still do not have a CIT team. I feel that more deputies need the training and at different levels of the department, not just patrol deputies. We have a mental hospital in our jurisdiction, and often they have psychiatric patients leave the facility and call the sheriff's office to locate the individuals. If more deputies were trained in CIT it would significantly decrease the conflicts in communication and how to engage the patients properly.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I was sent to a CIT training class and been certified for several years. Upon completing the course, it aided me greatly when dealing with mentally ill subjects. It actually helped me deal with crisis calls like domestics and other of the like. Our department is in the process of implementing a CIT team and i was happy to volunteer. Being CIT certified helps the responding deputy understand what the mentally ill subject is going through and lower aggression levels for both parties.

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    This is one of those things that I do not really know what to post. JPSO has an amazing program and the Lt. that is in charge is one of the best people for the job. I attended 40 hour course at JPSO after having some other training, in the field. It does benefit any agency to have people trained in crisis intervention but it does require their personal buy in. The part about it being voluntary is true, if you are going to do more than attend the training. While they cannot say that it reduces injuries, to officers, I believe that it does.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      I agree with the voluntary assignment. This is no doubt a difficult task to deal with on an every day basis. It certainly takes a special person to work these situations.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    As a member of the JPSO, I can say without doubt that having a CIT and training is beneficial. Starting some years back working in Partol, there were numerous situatiolns that I can look back and say with certainty that I could have benefited from this training. I often dealt with homeless people who had mental health issues and really didn't understand hoe to communicate or see the signs of certain illnesses. I've been through the course and it is certainly needed. Often times some of mental health issues we were dealing with ended with an arrest due to their state of mind. Now, we have the training and knowledge to see the issue and deal with it appropriately by offering them mental health services. It's a certain win for them in that moment, as well as officers as there is no need for them to be tied up booking somone and pulling our resources away from where they are most needed.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    I believe crisis intervention teams play a very important role in law enforcement. Most agencies spend a lot of time and resources dealing with individuals with mental health problems. We have several individuals we deal with regularly with mental health problems. They end up in our jail because there are really no other options for them around here. Its a cycle that just keeps repeating itself.

    They come to jail usually for some type of disturbance call because their care givers don't want to deal with them.
    Our medical staff gets them back on their medicine and stable again. They get released and sent right back out to start the process over. After about a month or two, they end up back in our jail.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      What you shared reminds me of the revolving door situation that we to have had in the past. Having dealt with similar situations for years, it reminds me that I am not sure of what the answer is exactly. CIT is a wonderful program, especially when de-escalating and attempting to share resources. However, the turn around situation that your write about is ongoing and, though it is certainly not our intent to always jail those that have nowhere to go and refuse to take their medication, oftentimes it is the place that they are admitted to. This is a difficult scenario that I believe plays out often around our country, perhaps other countries as well.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree it's a revolving door, my organization deals with the same individuals on a regular. My organization, CIT team along with Ochsner is in the process of coming together to resolve the solutions, if not resolve at least try to stop dealing with regulars on a daily

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      Joseph Flavin

      We've certainly seen an uptick in those calls for service involving people with mental health problems. We've started to screen individuals that we take to our jail to see if they are in need of services. The obvious mental health crisis individuals will go to the hospital but we also have a crisis center in town and also a mobile crisis team that we can call while on scene to assist.

  • Edit

    CIT teams are likely to become the new norm in addition to a set of LEO's responding to have a continuum of intersction usage for the situation. Being able to deescalate is truly a case by case basis as every person is different. However, being able to have the CIT proper training is essential for success.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      I agree, CIT teams are becoming more prevalent and are very useful. Even if not dealing with a mentally ill individual, the training helps you effectively listen and communicate on a different level, a positive way.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    Working in the correctional center, have CIT officers in the facility is a must. At least 35% of the offender population takes some type of psych medication according to our medical staff. So you can see the importance of having officers on every shift that are able to handle and communicate with these individuals.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    Having maintained my certified CIT membership status since 2004, this has been an excellent review for me, and provided great insight into how to maintain the three elements of a successful CIT program: 1. Ongoing. 2. Operational. 3. Sustaining. I now work for another agency than when I first became trained and certified 16 years ago. Taking this invaluable information with me to the agency I now work for, in order to promote a successful CIT program now, will help in gaining buy-in from those administrators that will be interested in seeing many of the same positive results that were discussed in this module.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    CIT team is a wonderful program designed to improve the way law enforcement respond to people in the local community who have been experiencing and mental health issues. Me personally I'm thankful for the great communication my organization has with the CIT team, because mental health is a big issue for law enforcement today.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    While working in corrections I have witnessed a great amount of mentally ill offenders. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to attend CIT training. I was able to get an internal view of how they handled the mentally challenged. Having CIT trained officers in Corrections is important to our agency. The training instructs officers how to negotiate with offenders that suffer with this health condition. I believe all personnel should attend this training so that everyone is adequate and equipped to handle a mentally challenged offender

  • Edit

    CIT programs have become more essential more than ever. I have been around long enough to feel the impacts made when mental health facilities were shuttered back in the 80's. The field of psychotherapy and the mental health profession really took a hit and we are still dealing with the aftermath today. Installing the CIT program helps officers route the mentally ill to where the need to be instead of just locking them up in jails.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    Our agency has a CIT program and we also have CIT based in corrections. In the corrections field of law enforcement, especially during this pandemic there is an increase of mentally ill individuals that are incarcerated. This training helps our officers to de-escalate situations and control the outcomes of serious events.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    My agency started a CIT several years ago and it has been a success. CIT trained deputies have been instrumental with deals with mental patients. Our local hospital is now a lot more cooperative and the program is working even better. More options for a deputy to utilize is always a good thing.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    As the Assistant Commander of my agency's Special Response Team, before the creation of our CIT program, I could recall responding to several "suicidal barricade" callouts. Now, those types of callouts are pretty rare. This certainly proves the effectiveness of our CIT program and the officers who receive this specialized training.

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    Joseph Flavin

    The agency I work for provides training on CIT for all members of the Sheriff's Office. I feel the training has been very beneficial to our deputies and the agency. It has certainly changed our approach to dealing with persons in a mental health crisis. I've seen a reduction in our TRT callouts over the years and I think some of that has to do with a change in tactics when dealing with people in the middle of a mental health crisis.

    • Edit

      We to put all of our field staff through CIT training. It seems the same for us that our interactions with these types of situations and using a SWAT response seems to have lessened a little. I believe it is because of the communication skills of those who have attended the CIT course.

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        James Schueller

        I agree. Our street Deputies are better equipped to talk with people and de-escalate situations before they turn into a hostage of barricaded subject situation. Our Emergency Response Unit includes our Hostage Negotiation Team, and we regularly train together to compliment each others' skill set, and CIT Officers are instrumental in the entire process.

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      Mitchell Gahler

      I think the training that we have had at our office has been beneficial, as it’s easier to identify those who needs services other than going to jail. The reduction in TRT callouts has been massive, as officer’s become more trained and well-versed with individuals with conditions that need more attention for different services.

  • Edit

    I am glad that there is a module that focuses on CIT. We have all of our field staff go through CIT. Not only does it help the Officer in those instances where mental health may be the primary concern it also increases or develops our officer's communication skills in mental health situations but in other situations as well. Those that attend this course seem to be a little more patient in talking themselves through a situation. We all know that communication is key in any circumstance and being able to adapt to situations with communication definitely helps bring the call for service to a peaceful cnclusion.

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    James Schueller

    Very happy to see a module dedicated to CIT training and CIT teams. My agency has been involved with training the Memphis CIT model since 2007. I went through the first year as a student, and began coaching the next year. I now am also an instructor and run the CIT program for my agency. We have received total support from our Sheriff and Administration who support training up 100% of all staff below the rank of Captain on both the Law Enforcement and Detention sides of the house. The 3 core elements are fundamental to the success of CIT teams, and I am proud to say we are one of the few (if only) self-sustaining programs in the state with our own budget and training program. The benefits and impact of the CIT program for both consumers and officers have been clearly demonstrated in our program.

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree Jim, I can't wait till we can put this COVID stuff behind us and get back to getting officers trained up. This training was valuable to me, you guys get about as close to reality during the scenarios in a controlled environment as you could.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    Our office has implemented a screening process for those with mental health issues in order to offer them services if jail is not the proper place for them. We also have a crisis center and a mobile crisis team that we utilize for those in need of those services as well. I think these services have provided us assistance when dealing with mental health issues, as the staff that fill these positions are more trained in dealing with mental illnesses. We have also had CIT training at our office that has been beneficial in identifying individuals with mental health issues, as it provided ways to interact and identify those who suffer from such underlying conditions.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    We respond to multiple calls a day that involve a mentally ill patient experiencing a crisis, who work with clinical staff to ensure peaceful resolutions take place. Personnel that believe and embrace in the CIT model have less incidents of use of force. It is very important to note that if the CIT vision is practiced by all members of a police organization, the public supports our actions. Research shows that many encounters between police and citizens involve a mentally ill individual, especially in Los Angeles County Ca. Many agencies have developed CIT training for front-line personnel but neglect to train supervisors and executive staff. All members of a police organization must be involved in the process so that the front line personnel embrace the concept. In California, POST has made it mandatory for FTOs to complete training in this area. I truly believe the CIT approach should be incorporated in the police academy and through the Officers' career as a perishable skill to better prepare personnel to effectively identify, defuse and resolve situations involving mental ill people.

    • Edit

      Excellent observation. I agree that CIT training should be incorporated at the academy and at various levels throughout a police officers lifecycle. In Wisconsin we are moving in this direction. While there is not an entire training program at the academy level, there is 8 hours built into the basic curriculum.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      Excellent point about the need to include all members of the agency in training. it must be an agency wide team approach to dealing with those impacted with mental health issues.

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    Frank Acuna

    My agency currently has a CIT program, but has multiple CIT trained officers. All of our new officers attend a week long CIT training following graduation from the police academy. Our CIT team however is comprised of volunteers who each share a caseload of our mental health consumers within the city. We have had some success with the program, however we do not have a 40% CIT trained department as suggested in the lecture. As a supervisor responding to mental health calls, I enjoy having a CIT team member on the call and have witnessed their ability to connect with and deescalate situations that would otherwise have turned into a quick use of force.

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      Kelly Lee

      We are very fortunate that in our department over 90% are CIT trained. The skills we have learned certainly help us out when responding to these calls. The 40% you have is a great start, continue to work towards getting the entire department if possible. It will only help in the long run.

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    Samantha Reps

    A CIT program is such a needed program in any LE agency, the training that comes from it is valuable. I agree with the more training that we have with mentally ill individual's the more peaceful outcomes we have. I know our agency is very fortunate to have the CIT program that we do have.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    Our CIT program works in conjunction with the Olmsted Co Sheriffs Office, especially when it comes to training new officers/deputies on CIT. I believe our CIT program is top notch, the training goes as far as to hiring professional actors/actresses to come in and get involved with scenarios. It's about as close you could get to a real call as you could in a controlled environment. Having the Mayo Clinic in our city just emphasizes the importance of CIT officers.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      As noted within the course, the CIT program is needed as one forces law enforcement to address more of society’s problems, too often without the proper tools available. To see the pooling of resources and the attention given to making the program successful is riveting. Too many within this area are concerned with hoarding resources or not putting the proper amount of attention to developing. The trends indicating the need for this type of program have existed for quite some time. Whether after-action reports of media-worthy events in which the officers dealt with the issue appropriately based on their training, the consensus was that other ways might have worked better. The question that arises is at what point is accepting these events is no longer acceptable when other proven mechanisms exist?

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    Chad Blanchette

    I found it interesting that use of force by CIT officers is historically lower than those that have not had CIT training. That is not a connection that I had made.

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      Paul Gronholz

      I agree with the research. CIT officers are trainined to try and de-escalate when possible. ICAT training is another good resource that we are currently training here at RPD.

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      To me that only makes sense. Instead of going hands-on with the consumer, we learn to use our words to work through the encounter. It doesn't always work but it's better than doing the easy thing, forcing them into jail. Jail isn't the right place for some.

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    Kyle Turner

    Law enforcement officers must be trained to handle any situation they are confronted with, and mental health is certainly a significant one. Using CIT to defuse situations and ultimately get people into mental health treatment is vital to public safety. But law enforcement is only one piece of this public safety puzzle. Ensuring the availability of beds at treatment facilities is also very important. Something that is currently lacking in southern California.

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    Kelly Lee

    First, I am very proud to say that one of my partners and fellow classmates (Sgt. Jim Schueller) runs the CIT program for our office and it is nothing short of top notch. Jim puts his heart and soul into this training to ensure those on the street have everything they need in their toolbox to effectively handle those we encounter with mental illness. Thanks Jim! On that note, with all the training we have received in our office we can certainly see the benefits from the CIT program. We are better suited to understand what the other person is going through and what resources they may need along with what actions we may need to take to accomplish the task. Quite possibly one of the best LE programs out there.

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      Ryan Manguson

      I agree Jim has done an outstanding job coordinating the CIT program. It has come a long way since inception and we have seem many positive things come out of the program.

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    Ryan Manguson

    Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) are very important to the increasing demands on LE in regards to response to mental health issues. Over the last decade we have seen dramatic increases in mental health related calls and I don't see that trend changing anytime soon. We have been training CIT within out agency since 2007 with a goal of 100% of our officers trained. In recent years we, along with our county partners, have added an imbedded social worker program. That has been extremely helpful when dealing with people in crisis. This year, that program is expanding from one to three social workers.

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    Paul Gronholz

    CIT is well established here at RPD. At this time, approximately 70-80% of officers have volunteered to be a part of the program. We have had great success and buy in from the leaders of our agency. CIT is certainly part of the culture here at RPD and widely accepted as being a fantastic training and something that offices look forward to attending. We have implemented an embedded social worker and moving toward a co-responder model.

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    Durand Ackman

    My agency has several people that have attended CIT training. It is a great program and teaches skills that help tremendously when working with people in crisis. My agency also has a couple of people that are coaches for the training. I feel we have a great CIT program.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    My agency already has already implemented the CIT training with every criminal operations deputy. This is a week long class that is hosted by the area mental health facility. After going through the class myself it gave me a different out look on dealing with people with mental health. CIT is something every agency should have.

  • Edit

    CIT training would be a great addition to my agency. I believe every officer could benefit from a better understanding of mental illness in the community. Partnerships with local facilities would be a great start.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Agreed William! Since the agency I am employed started its CIT they have been activated numerous times. Mental illness seems to be increasing. Indeed every patrol officer should have some CIT training since most of the time they will be the first encounter with a mentally ill individual.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    There is no doubt that finding positive and productive ways for law enforcement to interact and help with those impacted by mental health crisis is critical. I am sure all agencies frequently interact with and engage with mental health crisis. The statistics and resources for data in this module is helpful to help gain a clearer picture of the problem as well as potential solutions to get better outcomes.

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    A CIT team is vital to a police agency and we have a well established program at our department. Every officer is offered the training. This training is a critical tool with the amount of mentally ill interactions within our community. Mental health is dramatically increasing, and all police officers need to be trained in how to handle the mentally ill so they will be more comfortable with engagement.

    • Edit

      I agree with Jennifer. CIT training is vital to a police agency. Like Jennifer said, mental health issues requiring some type of response has dramatically increased. This increase and who should respond has become a hot topic for a lot of people recently due to unfortunate incidents around the country. I personally feel that the CIT concept is going to go through a significant overhaul (for the better) in the near future. While the actually changes are up for debate, it is clear that one remediation being considered is the inclusion of specially trained counselors earlier in the law enforcement response.

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      Maja Donohue

      I agree Lt. Our Sheriff’s Office has encouraged CIT certification for years and a significant portion of our staff have already been through this training. It improves our ability to respond effectively to a mental health crisis and improves our safety.

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      That's half the battle with the officer and mental illness, comfort level. By training for various incidents of mental health we can better prepare for the day we come face to face. De-escalation is a huge piece of this equation.

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      Brad Strouf

      My agency has a large percentage of patrol officers trained as well. There will come a time in the not so distant future where this type of training will be mandatory for all newly hired officers. As it should be.

  • Edit

    The CIT Program is a needed program for all agencies. At a minimum we should join in with other agencies in a task force type setting until each agency can achieve a proficient individual level. Or maintain the TF setting to maximize funds and resources for all agencies involved. Jefferson Parish definitely seems like they have it figured out. Our agency involvement is very minimal in regard to CIT, but we have deputies educated on the topic, and we have resources we can utilize to address mental illness. We however lose the benefit of developing the relationships with the individuals, which minimizes the amount of force necessary to resolve situations.

  • Edit

    I'm 100% behind the idea of CIT. I think that our agency would also buy into CIT. The biggest obstacle is the state mental health program is al most non-existent. Alabama has about the worst mental health system in US. There is very little funding and most of the state mental health institutions have been shut down for lack of funding. We have people have have been through the probate process and are to be involuntarily committed but they are out in the public because there are no beds or space in the mental health facilities. Until the Alabama legislature decides to allocate more money to mental health, it will continue to be a problem.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    Crisis Intervention Teams are one of the best changes to our police department. Besides the positive applications towards calls involving mental illness, CIT training teaches active listening skills that apply to all calls.

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    Nicole Oakes

    I am amazed that more agencies, including my own, do not implement CIT. This would alleviate so many issues while providing services to people who really need them. I was surprised that San Jose had such a reduction in officer injuries after implementing CITs.,

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      Robert Schei

      I agree Nicole, I can tell you from first hand experience how helpful the CIT program is. Hopefully with time your agency and others will follow suit and begin this training program.

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      The CIT team in our area is compromised of various mental health professionals. Our officers work hand in hand with them through our hospital facilities. We train our officers in various aspects of mental health but have not specific CIT program within our office.

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      Steve Mahoney

      My agency implements a CIT program and we saw immediate results in terms of dealing with mentally ill people. They were getting the help they needed instead of just jail. Positive officer interactions went up and use of force went down

  • Edit

    My department has had a robust CIT program for many years. All officers go through the initial 40 hour program and are required to take refresher training each year. Our Dispatch staff also receive CIT training as well. As one would expect, some officers are more adept at applying CIT concepts than others. That said, the CIT program is the cornerstone of our service approach. I think the application of CIT concepts is more common for law enforcement officers because they have experience with mental illness in their own lives (family member etc.) Our program is successful because it has the utmost support of the Chief and senior department leaders. I have personally seen/ applied CIT techniques to achieve a positive outcome. That said, program effectiveness needs to be reviewed on an annual basis. Like Dr. Normore stated, these programs remain relevant due to research of trends and ever changing resources. One trend that I have noticed is the number of veterans with mental illness. Thankfully, our regional police academy has added specialty training specifically focused on veterans and PTSD and this topic has been added to the initial training program.

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    Maja Donohue

    CIT training has been a part of my agency since 2007. I would encourage everyone to attend the class if they are presented with the opportunity to do so. In addition to enhanced communication techniques and pretty realistic hands-on scenarios, our program also spends quite a bit of time discussing available community resources, something I was not familiar with prior to this class. As we continue to evolve, CIT training was recently added to the MN state jail academy curriculum and I’m excited to see where this specialized approach will take us in the future.

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    Robert Schei

    Once the mental health hospitals were closed in our state we quickly saw our jail populations rise with offenders with serious mental health concerns. This lead to an increase in jail assaults and a negative attitude form towards such offenders. When we began teaching our CIT curriculum in 2007 we started to see a change in some of the offender placements. Prior to CIT mental health offenders would sit in jails with less than desirable treatment or healthcare options and little understanding of their legal circumstances. CIT has been a blessing to our agency and has helped us provide a much higher level of care to those affected.

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      Eric Sathers

      I agree that the closing of mental health hospitals has greatly increased the number of untreated individuals with mental illness with who we come into contact. Since it is unlikely that similar hospitals will ever be re-opened, it is important for officers to learn how to work with these individuals.

  • Edit

    Crisis Intervention teams and mental health training are commonplace in today's law enforcement. The instances of mental health that our officers are encountering are staggering. I am curious as to the reason behind the statistics. Why are there so many people with mental health? A large number of calls our deputies and officers encounter surround this topic. Drug use is also heavily intertwined in various mental health episodes. I fear what the future holds for our communities and our officers. In my agency, we've not started a peer support program to deal with job stress. These programs are becoming the norm more and more in law enforcement.

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      Thomas Martin

      I believe that the funding from the federal and state level has continued to be reduced over time. I also remember reading a report last year, that there were more mental health hospitals and treatment beds open in the late 1960’s than there are today. Fewer treatment beds and no additional funding sets us up for higher interactions and the associated increased risks.

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        Scott Crawford

        I believe you are correct about the mental health hospitals. It`s crazy when you think about it. I`m in the corrections with my department and every year the % of offenders on mental health medication rises. I`ve got some offenders that have no business being incarcerated. What do you do with them?

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        Steven Mahan

        Thomas, I agree. The state of Louisiana really drops the ball on mentally ill persons. We can see the amount of people that need real help and have no where to go or cannot afford private care.

  • Edit

    Our agency doesn't have an official CIT. The rate of people with mental illness seems to be rapidly increasing, or maybe it's just because as a society we are more in tuned to it. We don't have much of a homeless population in our area and we don't have any form of shelter for anyone to go if they are homeless. All of our law enforcement officers are all authorized to do emergency detentions for people that they encounter and work with a mental health/crisis contractor that helps set-up facilities after medical clearance. This has been very challenging for our area because we are then responsible for transporting these individuals all over the state. We can never plan ahead of time as to which facility may accept them or how long a medical clearance will take. So finding Officers willing to transport them is also something else our agency struggles with. A CIT team designated to these types of situations would be very beneficial to us I believe.

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      Andy Opperman

      I think as a society we would be surprised to know the amount people that go about their day to day without other people knowing the struggles they suffer from related to mental health. A CIT team is great but just getting officers through CIT training can help greatly. There may be grant opportunities out there for your officers to receive CIT Training.

  • Edit

    Our 911 dispatch center covers our agency and ten others in our county. Last year there was over 365 call for service in reference to mentally ill people. Being able to have trained members of a CIT program available to respond to these call would be a great asset to any agency.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      CIT React teams that can respond anywhere in the jurisdiction and provide a heightened level of care would be a great asset.

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    Brad Strouf

    My agency has had a CIT in place for nearly five years. There is no doubt that it has served the community well. While no formal studies have been conducted, to the best of my knowledge, there is a consensus throughout the agency that this is a valuable asset to the department and community.

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    Andy Opperman

    CIT programs have shown the immense need for more resources and training on mental health in our communities. Mental illness has existed since the dawn of mankind, but we are finally realizing the effects of mental illness on crime and our society. Our department has had a program for approximately 8-10 years, and it has evolved from CIT Training, to a CCIT Team to a Behavioral Health Officer Program with a social worker from the county assigned to the department. You must have people within your department that make being part of the CIT Program their passion. We have been lucky enough to have people at our department that pushed the 3 core elements of a CIT Program. They took ownership of the program, developing community partnerships with organizations like NAMI, and they helped bring in CIT Memphis Training to the department through grants. Some also received recognition for their great work. The important part is to pass that knowledge on to continue to sustain the program.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    It is enlightening to see how the coursework, established a few years ago, clearly by members of the profession, advocating a program that became a debate point during the presidential election. Members of the profession created meaningful solutions to a growing trend of mental health crisis management issues. A few short months ago, a presidential candidate in his movement to affect current law enforcement practices mentioned having counselors on duty to respond to people in crisis. As the message was not correctly formatted, it sounded like the candidate's program would hamstring departments waiting for these "counselors" to respond and address the situation, leaving officers in a precarious position during exigent circumstances. The CIT programs outlined within the course show that one can universally apply the material to those in the profession. As there is a working model, apparently affordable and with great benefit, why don't our officials advocate for universal training funding in these techniques? If one makes it part of the credentialing process, then all within the profession can maintain the program's success.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    My agency has a robust CIT program. Increasing the amount of CIT trained personnel to include the entire agency has proven to be difficult. Training time for 40 hour block for a large agency will take several years to complete although a worthwhile endeavor. Also in play is what the author describes as the officer needs to volunteer for the program and have a want. We can train everyone but there needs to be a cultural change the provides the want and understanding of the benefits of training and implementing CIT.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    A crisis intervention team is a critical element with a law enforcement agency. CITs are needed increasingly with the challenges of mentally disturbed individuals. The vast majority of the time mentally ill individuals have to be dealt with in special ways and the CIT members are trained to be able to assist the mentally ill through communication techniques and special training.

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      Ronald Smith

      We started with a CIT team, but for the cost why not train everyone. All officers would improve their communication skills and be able to recognize when a person is in crisis.

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    Paul Brignac III

    I believe that the finding of a 32 percent in officer injury when dealing with the mentally ill alone is reason enough for all departments to implement a CIT program. I believe officers who lack training with the mentally ill may not realize the danger that can be involved.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Indeed. How many officer involved shooting do you hear of illustrate how the subject had a mental health illness or disorder? The statistics show that 1 in 4 Americans experience mental illness in a given year, and 1 in 17 live with a serious mental health problem. If an implemented CIT can help with officer injury, well worth it.

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    Though my department does not have a formal CIT, it is quite evident that having a CIT not only benefits the mentally ill person that is suffering with an event, but also the officers that have to respond, and the department that may have to deal with any aftermath. It is obvious with younger officers that some have no clue about some mental health illnesses – if they are unaware of the illness itself, how are they supposed to respond and react to the situation.

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      Zach Roberts

      Michael,

      I was very skeptical of a CIT team at first but can not express the benefits that the team has provided many members of the community. I highly recommend your agency look at developing one and reap the benefits of it.

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    Ronald Smith

    CIT is part of the required basic academy curriculum in New Mexico and a Bi-Annual refresher requirement. The major benefit comes when the officers contact someone in a crisis who is not normally mentally impaired but just had something happen that causes a mental crisis. We get lots of practice with the people who are known to us to have a mental diagnosis. Even with the District Judges pushing treatment, we can still do only three things: talk, fight or leave.

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      Kevin Balser

      We also have 48 hours built into our recruit class training along with tours of mental health facilities.

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    Steve Mahoney

    I believe CIT is important for departments to have. It goes along with being an adaptive leader. Our job is to help people and get them the best resources to get this help. Using mental health facilities instead of jail is the first step in achieving this goal

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      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree. Connecting people with the right resources to get help should be a primary goal. Greater emphasis should be placed on the community based partnerships in getting mentally ill people the help they need before they enter the criminal justice system.

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    Eric Sathers

    My agency is currently in the early implementation stages of a CIT. After reviewing this module, I feel very good about the potential benefits it will bring to our deputies and the community as a whole. In the current political climate and the recent push to defund police, it is important to highlight our efforts to improve our abilities to interact with those experiencing mental illness.

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      Kenneth Davis

      Eric- We are also just in the beginning of trying to put this concept to work. Our initial rollout was a partnership with our DMH folks, but we had continuity issues with them as well as funding hold-ups with the state. We have now applied for grant funding to initiate our own in house CIT and we are excited to begin the process of improving our delivery of service to folks in need of this program. I can say it has really helped us in terms of freeing up our officers for other duties and it seems to focus more specifically on getting help for those who need treatment as opposed to jail.

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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    Thomas Martin

    CIT connect those with mental health needs with the proper mental health providers. We would all prefer to bring someone to the hospital for mental health treatment instead of the local jail when possible. It is unfortunate to see so many offenders in jail arrested on misdemeanor criminal charges, filed by a family member living at the same residence. We frequently hear from inmate family members “there is nothing else we can do with them” and “we can’t find anyone to help us, so you can just keep him.” Mental health hospitals have closed in our area and the ones that remain open continue to have their funding reduced.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    CIT training can benefit officers by increasing their knowledge and confidence in dealing with mentally ill people. CIT Training also can aide the mentally ill by referring them to mental health providers and treatment vs entering the criminal justice system. I think this is something that will become more and more common in police agencies as the high rates of mental illness are likely not to decrease.

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    Scott Crawford

    At one time our agency did an hour or 2 of CIT training in yearly in-service. Although a CIT team would be great in field and on the streets, I would love to see one implemented that was corrections based specific. We have psychologist and a couple of counselors on staff and it`s helpful, but to have all the corrections deputies go through training would be beneficial for all involved.

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      Buck Wilkins

      Yeah Scott that was a good training but we have so many other teams that really do nothing and the CIT would do everyone some good.

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      Brent Olson

      Scott,

      You are absolutely correct! Our entire department has been sent through a one week CIT training and it has paid off immensely. Officers are much more comfortable talking to people in crisis and finding solutions to get them the assistance they need.

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    Buck Wilkins

    My agency has a lot of different teams but this is one team that it does not have and I can see where it would be beneficial to have a Crisis Intervention Team. We do deal with a lot of mentally ill people every day.

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      Ronald Springer

      Buck,
      I highly recommend the program and especially the course taught in Lafourche. This is where I attended a course specific on Corrections. We had agencies from all over the state and even two ladies from Texas. For your area I would contact the Northwest Louisiana Human Services Authority. The south central district offers classes regularly so hopefully your district does as well.

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    CCIT in our area, based on the Memphis model, is nothing new in our area and is highly effective. I found this training exceptional well put together and provided me many valuable tools for dealing with people in a mental health crisis. After the training, I became far more likely to divert people into he health care system than criminal justice system. I was pretty adapt as recognizing mental health issues before, but now I know what to do.

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    Travis Linskens

    I feel fortunate to be able to say we have a very successful CIT program at our agency that has had an enormous impact on the success our County has had working with people through a mental health crisis. Having people that genuinely want to be a part of CIT has played a large role in the programs success.

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    Brent Olson

    My department started a CIT team about (3) years ago. We refer to it as CART (Crisis Assessment Response Team) and we have (2) teams, each of which consist of a sworn officer and a mental health professional from our local crisis center. They all work full time in this position to provide services in either a reactive, proactive, or ongoing basis. The success of the team has been outstanding, as their work has prevented many unneeded mental health commitments. They visit chronic consumers, make sure they get to their appointments, set up follow up services, work towards early prevention of consumers in the community who are untreated, and too many other tasks to count. The amount of time saved by patrol officers, on what would have been dealing with these persons through calls for service, is huge and allows them to focus on other areas where they are needed. I enjoyed this lesson and learning the history and success of CIT programs since their inception. I can definitely say first hand how successful they are and encourage any department to form a program if they don't have one.

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    Jay Callaghan

    Prior to the onset of CIT, I can recall many a SWAT callout involving someone in crisis that didn't warrant a full blown SWAT deployment. Fortunately these incidents resolved peacefully but with the birth of this training and it being embraced across the country by police departments it has proven to be very beneficial.

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    Kenneth Davis

    Utilizing the CIT approach is a sage and sound practice for our profession. As it is an emerging trend, there is still much experience to be had with the concept (Normore, 2021). However, the prospect does seem to work. Our agency is in its infancy in implementing this program and we have had some pitfalls, mostly regarding consistency in staff and funding. We recently applied for a grant to hire our own staff in hopes of creating a CIT in-house. Our prior experiences with this program utilized outside contractors from the Department of Mental Health and we did have some commitment issues from that agency in moving the concept forward. Nonetheless, I have witnessed its efficacy first hand. The availability of trained CIT staff on critical scenes lessened the time our officers spent dealing with medical providers, lessened the arrests of mentally ill subjects and actually provided excellent opportunities for trust building in the communities we serve. It is a keeper!

    References

    Normore. A. (2021). Crisis intervention teams. Module # 4, Week # 4. National Command and Staff College.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I think it's very important for agencies to have a CIT program. The number of people with mental illness is rapidly increasing within our communities. I think CIT programs improves communication between officers and the individuals they encounter. A CIT team will also give police officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively. I think that the one of the most important benefits of having a CIT team is that it reduces the risk of serious injury or death for persons with mental illness when interacting with police officers.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I think it's very important for agencies to have a CIT program. The number of people with mental illness is rapidly increasing within our communities. I think CIT programs improves communication between officers and the individuals they encounter. A CIT team will also give police officers more tools needed to do their job in a safe and effective manner. I think that the one of the most important benefits of having a CIT team is that it can reduce the risk of serious injury or death for persons with mental illness when interacting with police officers.

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      Robert Vinson

      I agree with you. Some one who is mentally ill often requires a unique approach and these CIT programs offer the training and approaches necessary to utilize situationally appropriate responses safely.

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      Darryl Richardson

      Kaiana, I agree with you. It is also good to have CIT officers assigned to every division. By having CIT officers in the Correctional facility it helps because recently there have been an influx in people with mental illnesses being arrested and housed in jail.

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    Chris Crawford

    This is long overdue. Every police agency should be aggressively creating a CIT team. If not at least make it a top priority to send all officers to be certified. Many years ago I was summoned to a backup call involving a male subject that began to become violent and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. Upon arrival I immediately suspected that the subject was diabetic and having an episode. this man was not under the influence of anything, nor was he mentally ill. What he could be accused of was mismanaging his diabetes, and a short time later with the help of a few sips of orange juice he was fine.

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    Ronald Springer

    Crisis Intervention Team training is some of the best training I have received in my career. I was fortunate enough to attend two separate training courses. The first was a general class which was mainly directed at Patrol interactions. As an officer assigned to Corrections and planning on spending my career in Corrections it was still useful information. However the second course I attended was an instructor level course specific to Corrections. The agency that hosted the class hired professional actors as the role players and this gave it a whole new level of realness. The class actually caused many of the officers to experience the scenarios as real events even leading to officers and role players crying after the scenario. The skills and lessons from those two classes helped give us experience to lean when dealing with people in crisis or suffering from mental illness.

    Normore, A. (2017). Crisis intervention teams. Module 4, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.

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    Robert Vinson

    I was fortunate enough to work in the jail for several months before I went onto the road. This quickly dispelled the notion of "good guys and bad guys" for me. I quickly learned that many of the subjects who were in jail were not bad people, but simply suffered from mental illnesses or chemical dependencies. It was amazing to see the transformation that could take place after they were incarcerated long enough for medications to began working or for them to detox. Many talented individuals were imprisoned due to their inability to manage mental illnesses or addictions, and seeing this first hand really changed my approach to law enforcement.

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      Robert, in retrospect, I too feel fortunate to have worked in the jail prior to going to the road although I was not thrilled at the time. In doing so, I got to develop rapport with the individuals I would later police in the streets which gave me a much-appreciated leg up in our interactions. This also gave me a good understanding of the games they played as well as insight into their mental capacities which allowed me to tailor individual responses when we met again on the streets.

      Like you, I also learned that many of the inmates were not terrible people but rather they had made bad decisions because of mental health issues or chemical dependencies. Many LEO’s may not want to hear this but starting in the jail is a great opportunity to shape your career if the community is truly why you joined law enforcement.

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    Stan Felts

    We have had all of our deputies trained in CIT since 2006, and we require all the cadets, from surrounding parishes, who attend our police academy, to attend a 40-hour CIT training. This training has had a tremendous impact on the confidence officers have in dealing with the mentally ill, and it has provided many safe endings for both officers and consumers.

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    Derek Champagne

    I believe that every officer should go through CIT training. This should not be a one-time training but should be just as important as your yearly firearm recertification.

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      Burt Hazeltine

      I agree that this is training that every officer should have. We send some of our officers to every class that is offered in the region. This is definitely something officers will use more than their firearms.

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      Kyle Phillips

      I agree that yearly training would be beneficial. I believe that the new mandates from our state licensing board will aid in Officers receiving this training.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    CIT training has been offered through my department for more than 6 years now. We have a large number of certified officers assigned to corrections, patrol, and investigations. We have not established a full-time CIT team and fortunately, we have no seen the need for that. I believe that having officers in every area of the department that are trained to deal with people in crisis allows us to have the flexibility to successfully handle the situations without a dedicated team. We do, however, have a coordinator that reviews the incidents and makes recommendations for improving our program.

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      Andrew Peyton

      Burt, I do agree that our approach at this point with training across all divisions has been successful. Through the training with Lafourche and have a certified instructors, we are fortunate. The amount of deputies we are currently sending to CIT courses is great. I have been able to witness the use of this training first hand on my shift and it is quite impressive. When a CIT training announcement cones out, it is one of the most sought after courses.

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    Kevin Balser

    The overall impact of having our own dedicated CIT and our own dedicated unit that handles these matters has a tremendous impact on our agency and also the community we serve. We are far better trained and equipped than we were many years ago when I was first entrenched in those incidents as a patrol deputy. We have seen far fewer encounters and we are a model around the country regarding how we approach CIT and dealing with mental patients.

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      David Mascaro

      I agree Kevin. The implementation of the CIT training and full time team has had a tremendously positive affect on the community.

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    Darryl Richardson

    The CIT training class has been offered for a few years at my department. While I was assigned to Booking at the Correctional Center I was selected as one of the officers to attend this training class. I believe that every officer should attend the CIT training class. The information that was taught was very informative and can be used by every officer not matter what division they work in.

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      Kimberley Baugh

      I agree with you Darryl. I can see the difference watching officers who have attended the class compared to officers who have not; the officers that have attended the class tend to get more cooperation out of subjects with mental health illnesses.

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        Stephanie Hollinghead

        I have seen this in our agency as well. We do not have a formal CIT, but we have sent about a third to receive training in the field. They do tend to have more compassion, and as a result, tend to get more cooperation out of the subjects.

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    Andrew Peyton

    Through the course of my career, I have seen the advancement of CIT and training and the effect it has on response to calls for service. Prior to advanced CIT training, we just took he subjects into custody by whatever means possible, typically ending in a use of force situation.

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    My agency has made it a point to send several of our officers to CIT training; with the goal in mind to send everyone in the enforcement capacity. In my opinion I think every deputy at every level should attend the course. I firmly believe if more deputies receive CIT training; it would drastically decrease the amount of conflict in the community.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      I know from a patrol perspective it has relieved lots of strain from the correction system. We can now have the proper training and are able to determine when someone needs to go to a mental health facility or jail. This problem with dealing with mental health problems is getting worse and we as law enforcement officers have been given to task to deal with it. proper training is necessary on the subject matter.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    Our agency regularly sends deputies to get CIT certified. It is definitely a really good training and useful. Unfortunately Law enforcement has been tasked with the growing mental health problem. Whether we like it or not we will deal with this issue. If not responding correctly to issues of mental health our corrections facilities will be strained with individuals who need medical help.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      Too late, corrections are strained. I believe the statistic are too low regarding prisoners with mental health history or even illness. It came to the point in my facility that our medical staff could not physically keep up. We increased our mental health provider to come in more often but that wasn't enough. This year we got approval for 2 social workers that are certified in mental health to be permanent fixtures in the jail and man have they helped. Staff were already utilizing CIT as most are trained at this point and they were using the public crisis team to help with resources and connection to services. DHS and public health are overwhelmed, lack the space and the resources to help all those that need it....and there are a lot. Jails have been and continue to be a replacement for state facilities and it's really sad.

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    David Mascaro

    Crisis Intervention Teams have been an extremely useful tool in addressing the need for dealing with individuals in mental crisis. My agency implemented a full time Crisis Intervention Team several years ago, under the guidance of then Sheriff Newell Normand. The full-time team of detectives are augmented by several officers who volunteered to attend the 40- hour Crisis Intervention Team certification process. Sheriff Norman saw a need for a program to properly address the large numbers of mental health consumers in the community who were often in crisis. By learning to identify those in crisis, trained officers can better respond to the situation and often time deescalate situations that would previously result in the use of force.

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    David Cupit

    After watching this module I can see the need for a Crisis Intervention Team. Currently my department does not have one, nor do we receive any training in dealing with the mentally ill.

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      Jeff Byrne

      Our agency doesn't have an actual team either but we have partnered with the local mental health hospital to have clinicians work out of our sub-station on a frequent basis so they can respond to crisis calls with deputies.

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    Kyle Phillips

    Our Agency does not currently have a CIT team, however MN POST mandates have required that we receive specific training as it relates to mental health/illness. After seeing the statistics associated with the lecture, it is clear that the CIT program is beneficial for both LE, consumers and the community.

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      Although a great start, unfortunately the MN POST mandates are lacking. There are more facets in this limited mandatory training than helping those that are mentally ill. I would highly recommend the CIT program be instituted within your agency as CIT training and utilization is more far reaching than what is currently suggested by the state. Your Chief or Sheriff will not be disappointed in the investment.

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    I am very fortunate to work for an agency that has dedicated time and allocated resources, including its own budget, to a CIT program. Our agency started our CIT program in 2007 and long before any State mandates were put into place (2019) for mental illness training. I was initially trained in CIT in 2011 and recall that it was a week of some of the best and most applicable training I have ever received in this profession. Our program, in my opinion, meets all three core elements; ongoing, operational and sustaining. With over 90% of our staff having attended the full 40-hour CIT course, continuing education annually and consistent support from administration and community partners, we are fortunate to have such a successful program. We still preach officer safety first and, when the time is appropriate, to support the ATM model, but we regularly slow things down in the attempt to deescalate and have open communication with those in crisis. And even in some situations when force does have to be used, the circumstances infrequently result in injury to either deputy or consumer and the consumer is directed to healthcare rather than jail because we are more aware that dealing with the mental health issue is more important, and more sustaining, than dealing with the "criminal" behavior.

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    Jeff Byrne

    While our agency has deputies who are CIT trained we don't have a formal CIT team in place. We do partner with our local mental health hospital and local hospitals to have trained mental health professionals respond to crisis calls with a deputy. They are stationed at our sub-station so response is quick. We also have "mobile crisis" options to connect consumers with a mental health professionals when they are not on duty with us. The biggest problem we face in our community is lack of bed space for consumers to go on holds.

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      Brian Smith

      Our region is doing a similar program, with trained officers working with local mental health professionals. Our program is new and expanding so we know we will continue to use it more and more. Hopefully, we won’t see the issue you’re facing with a lack of space for patients to stay.

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    Zach Roberts

    This module was very informative to me. My agency currently has a C.I.T team but I have learned through this module that we definitely have the ability to grow. We have definitely changed with the times and have developed inter-agency relationships which have helped us better serve the community and those in crisis. We have developed and put in place wrap around services which have proven to be of benefit.

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      Dustin Burlison

      That's great, Zach. I hope my agency can grow into a bigger role as it implements CIT programs for our citizens.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    Our agency has an established CIT program that is supported and promoted thoroughly by our administration. It started out sending officers to the 40 hour class a couple times a year. CIT is now incorporated into our in-service training and all new hires attend a week long course that introduces them to de-escalation techniques, identification of mental illness, and meeting with several individuals with mental illness, role playing, and touring a mental health facility. Agencies within our jurisdiction are invited. Our county has had an operational 24 hour Crisis line available for all citizens, we have a designated Crisis officer on the road each shift. Our jail now has 2 social workers certified in mental health that meet with inmates regularly to locate resources and often get referrals from staff. Our newest addition to the CIT team is a service dog who is still in training with the hopes of providing comfort to individuals in crisis when officers respond.

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    Donald Vigil

    Due to employee retention and COVID restrictions, we have only have about 40% of our officers trained in CIT currently. While we do conduct training in verbal de-escalation along with scenario based training annually, we don't do much outside of the initial 40 hour CIT course specific to mental health issues. Although we lack in continuous training in this area, we do employ a certified mental health clinician that can deploy with officers or by themselves, depending on the situation.

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      Andrew Ashton

      We too do continuing education yearly on dealing with the mentally ill. That is very interesting that you guys have partnered with some mental health providers that will actually deploy with your guys as well.

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      Magda Fernandez

      Donald,
      I think a lot of agencies are in the same boat. Covid has really affected departments and staffing. What it has also done is created an increase in calls for people in mental health crisis. At my agency we have seen a significant increase in calls for service for people in crisis and an increase in calls for suicide attempts. With reduced staffing and limited opportunities to train newer officers, it creates many challenges for resources and response. We also have clinicians that deploy with officers, however they too are short staffed and not always available to respond.

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    Brian Smith

    CIT training is a critical piece of our officer development. After completing FTO and Probation, our officer’s need to attend CIT. Our command staff recognizes this as a program that teaches our staff about various mental health issues and how to respond to such crises in a professional manner. We also partner with a local mental health organization and have access to Co-responders on calls that involved subjects in crisis.

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      Tyler Thomas

      Mr. Smith, I think you are onto something. e already have a good idea of what training an officer should receive after FTO and probation, agencies should start thinking about how important CIT training could be, especially in today's world. I will be putting this on my agency's training matrix for new officers.

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    Andrew Ashton

    Although we have trained on the issues of dealing with the mentally ill, currently my agency does not have a CIT in place. I can definitely see the value in it and with the growing population of mentally ill it seems that having a CIT in place would be the natural progression. The numbers from the module I think may be skewed to the low side however because it did not account for the volume of US Soldiers coming home with PTSD. Those numbers alone range in the 20 percentile of all US troops from overseas.

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      Donald Vigil

      Excellent point Andrew. Although my agency doesn't seem to deal with veterans with PTSD as we did 5-10 years ago, we still do occasionally. CIT is critical when you're dealing with someone who has been trained and especially with those with combat experience.

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    Curtis Summerlin

    Having worked for a time in our civil division, dealing with mental probates, it opened my eyes to the number of documented mentally ill persons in our county. I always knew there were plenty but working directly to get these people help was an experience. I see a need for this training and CIT teams in every agency in the country.

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      Jerrod Sheffield

      Curtis,
      I agree in implementing this within our agencies. There are more mentally unstable people than our current training can cope with. Having deputies specially trained to deal with these individuals will yield better results and opening the door for them to get professional help and not just putting them in jail which sometimes only magnifies the problem and is not the answer that will ultimately make a difference.

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    Tyler Thomas

    I knew about CIT over the last couple of years, but it is not talked about or taught enough. For most of my career, I thought CIT was for critical incidents where it was chaotic or a swat team was being called out. Over the last two years, our dispatch team has been working to become all CIT trained and after this module, I see the benefit of having the patrol team also CIT trained.

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      Jared Paul

      Tyler,

      CIT has become a huge training area in my region. In fact there is a neighboring agency that achieved their goal of sending all their officers (about 130) through CIT training. It has been nice that the communities in my area have recognized the need for this type of intervention and have been supportive of LE receiving this training. There is a lot of funding for this due to the increased support, which has made the training free of cost for any LE, dispatcher and attorney.

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    Glenn Hartenstein

    My department has done well in training most of our officers, correction officers, and dispatchers about mental illness and providing the 40-hour CIT course. Having this training has been critical for our officers in dealing with those with mental illness. It's unfortunate that our state does not have a lot of places for the mentally ill to be treated. Most of the time, it is difficult unless voluntary to have these individuals evaluated at a time of crisis.

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      Trent Johnson

      Glenn,

      We are in the same boat. Our officers do a great job on the streets, but the follow up isn't available unless they voluntarily seek help. Our usual route leaves us arresting the person when they do something that falls into the realm of disorderly conduct and then seeking a petition for commitment, but even in that if there are no available beds in a facility, our corrections staff has to deal with them until a bed is open, or they go before a judge on the disorderly charge. Nothing is really helpful to the consumer.

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    Jared Paul

    CIT training is a great thing for all agencies to utilize. I am not sure how many officers at my agency are currently CIT trained officers, but I think it is somewhere around that 40 percent mark. I know there has been a large push around the region for more CIT training. A neighboring department's goal was to have all their officers CIT trained which I thought was a great idea. However, as mentioned in the module, it is important that officers want to go through the training and it should not be forced on an officer that is not interested. That being said, I think every officer should want this training as it is a huge benefit for their overall LE career.

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    Jerrod Sheffield

    This module provided some good information about CIT. It should be a program adopted by all agencies in counteracting the battle against members of society who are not mentally sound. Training officers to deal with these types of people will yield positive results and aid in getting them the help that they need in order to get their issues addressed properly.

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      Joey Brown

      Jerrod, great point. Additionally, it improves an officer’s attitude and confidence in being prepared for situations to handle the aggressiveness among these individuals.

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    Trent Johnson

    This module provided a logic for a CIT program as well as some limited scope anecdotal evidence to their success. I think CIT teams are definitely a benefit for law enforcement. The issues we run into is that we can get out with mental health consumers and do everything right and de-escalate and refer them somewhere, but at that time and on scene we can do nothing as far as taking them to a facility where they can get help, unless they are actively causing harm to themselves, even then they go to a local ER who can treat them, refer them to the mental health conglomerate that has the monopoly on mental health in our area, but otherwise can't hold them past treating their injuries. Unfortunately it just takes a certain number of times of us getting out with someone and handling it the best we can until they commit a criminal act, then we take them to jail and have one of our CIT officers to an involuntary commitment petition, but if they are able to bond we can't hold them. I think CIT is great from training officers, but without the other programs in place, it does little to serve the mental health consumer.

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      Rodney Kirchharr

      Trent - The fact that we as officers have no ability to immediately help the mentally ill is a failure, on who I do not know exactly, maybe all of us in society as a whole, but a failure non-the-less. The resources are not there and this can make it very difficult as officers to assist in a way that is both beneficial and that makes us feel like we are actually helping the situation.

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    Joey Brown

    The lack of mental health services across the State of Alabama has resulted in law enforcement as first responders to many crises. Since our agency has trained and incorporated CIT officers on each shift has been a community-based approach to improve the consequences of these encounters and has reduced officer injury. Our officers do an excellent job at identifying health resources for those with mental illness to ensure community safety.

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      You are correct. Over the years the State of Alabama has closed many of their mental health facilities and programs. This has caused a influx of mental health patients being released on the streets for police to deal with. We have just started a CIT Program and we are hoping it will be success such as yours.

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    I found this module very useful. We are in the process of starting a CIT program and I learned a lot from this lesson. I fully see the benefits of a CIT program and hopefully we will be successful. We have the backing from our community, city leaders, psychiatric services, DHR and health care providers which is crucial to our success. I believe this will greatly benefit the citizens and our officers.

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    Kimberley Baugh

    This module explained the history and benefits of Crisis Intervention Teams. CIT assists officer when having to deal with mentally ill subjects; in the hope of getting the subject mental health help instead of always bringing the subject to jail. CIT training is a must for law enforcement. I believe CIT training should be included in in-service training for new recruits as well as the yearly in-service training to keep officers up to date. My agency has patrol, detectives and corrections officers who have completed CIT 40 hour course. I work in corrections, and I find the officers that went through this training are able to get cooperation easier from subjects with mental health problems than officers who have not attended the training.

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      Jared Yancy

      I agree! CIT is a must for all law enforcement officers. This class is very beneficial! It helps us as law enforcement officers understand the importance of dealing with mental health patients.

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      Michael McLain

      Kimberley my department also incorporated CIT years ago and it has greatly improve our interactions with the mentally ill.

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    Stephanie Hollinghead

    Our agency deals with a lot of individuals who are in need of mental health services. We do not have a formal CIT at the moment but are in the beginning stages of developing the team and writing policy and procedures. This takes a group of committed professionals who are willing to work with these individuals. We currently have one person who is designated to help with getting resources to the consumers and it is not enough, we need more to be involved. Mentally Ill do not belong in our jails, they need services that cater to their needs.

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    Dustin Burlison

    Our agency has mandated every officer receive CIT training, but it kind of stops once they leave the classroom. Unfortunately, our area doesn't have many resources when it comes to mental health providers. If we run across a subject who is a threat to themselves or others and hasn't committed a crime, or has committed a misdemeanor at that most, we can take them for evaluation and a 72 hours hold. The taxing part of this is that the only facility we can take them to is an hour drive away so that takes an officer our of commission for about 2.5 hrs. I wish funding was available and better public education for this need so we are able to keep people out of jail that really just need help.

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    Steven Mahan

    Lafourche Parish received a grant to host monthly CIT training. My entire shift has attended, and you can see a real difference in response to mentally ill persons. During the height of the pandemic, we saw a massive uptick of CIT calls and were transporting 3 to 4 people a shift to the hospital. The training is crucial in helping officers understand mentally ill people and how to get them to help safely.

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    Magda Fernandez

    Our department does not have a CIT team, however the county has done a great job bringing all the agencies together, provided training and each regional agency has a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team Member assigned to them. They are available to respond anywhere in the county but work primarily with the agency they are assigned to. The PERT Clinicians are teamed up with uniformed officers and together they respond to all calls involving persons in mental health crisis. These calls have dramatically gone up in numbers in the last two years. Our officers have received a significant amount of training from PERT, which has resulted in higher success of voluntary commitals to the county mental health hospital, less use of force and reduced arrests.

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    Jared Yancy

    CIT training should be mandatory for every officer. Prior to being CIT certified, I saw my old supervisor use this training. It was flawless, and I was beyond impressed. This made me want to take the class so that I could use this as another tool under my belt. This training is instrumental. During this training, I spoke to several mental health patients who expressed that this is a good training class and its benefits to society.

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    Rodney Kirchharr

    Having officers trained in CIT has been very beneficial to our department and many other departments that I have information about. The ability to use officers to contact mentally ill persons that have further information on how to speak with and interact with these people can benefit greatly in both getting information from the person and obtaining the assistance that they need.

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      George Schmerer

      There has been a historical misperception of the mentally ill, especially the homeless population. It is often generalized if they would stay on their medication they would be fine or something along those lines. Our society is slowly getting better at understanding mental illness and how it can affect anyone. Officers need to have CIT training. It is just as important to be empathetic when dealing with someone in crisis.

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        Matt Lindsey

        I agree that all officers need training regarding managing contacts with individuals suffering from mental illness. I also agree it is important that officers show empathy towards the individual and their family members and friends.

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        Dan Sharp

        I agree. We have a fairly robust CIT program at my agency. We also have had a huge influx of homeless individuals in the city over the last few years. With that, we had had a huge increase in CIT calls.

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    Deana Hinton

    Although the benefits to CIT programs have informal benefits, it is clear there is benefit simply because we are doing SOMETHING. There is a huge dark hole where mental health services should be within our communities. Many of these folks are on a rotating system of getting "restored" so they can resolve their cases, and then leaving custody to dismal support systems that are able to aid them in staying medicated. Some of this is certainly their responsibility, but some cannot do this without significant and daily support. We do not have that anymore. CIT programs are an attempt to help when things do blow up. A bit late but something.

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    George Schmerer

    This module on the historical background of Crisis Intervention Teams was very informative. We know there is more work to be done in the area of mental health intervention. Department with CIT programs is far better off than those without. I know our agencies have taken proactive steps to ensure that all supervisors have gone through a CIT and currently the majority of our patrol division has gone through a CIT program. It is a staggering figure that 1 in 4 Americans in a given year will suffer from some type of mental health issue. Not all of these individuals will have contact with the police. Those that do benefit greatly from agencies who attempt to get professional help for those in crisis, rather than taking that person to jail.

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      Kent Ray

      I agree that communities that have law enforcement agencies that embrace and require CIT training are fortunate. It’s a good thing that we are not longer hauling the mentally ill to jail for low level misdemeanors as an excuse to get them off the street and clear the call.

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    Michael McLain

    My department incorporated a CIT team years ago. As we began training most of us dreaded attending the training but it has had a huge impact on dealing with the mentally ill which seems to be increasing each year.

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      Tommy “Chris” Weeks

      That is my fear that our officers wont see the training as a positive and have a close-minded approach with it.

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    Andrew Weber

    My agency has a CIT program. Unfortunately, the community has been slow to recognize that we need a mental health facility to place these people in. It was not until the third time the issue was put on the ballot that the community voted to have one built. Now, we just need it built, which is also causing time as people disagree.

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    Matt Lindsey

    I found the history of the CIT program interesting. My agency has a CIT program that is filled based on officers volunteering. There is only a certain number of spots in the CIT program. Each officer receives mental health training in the academy and further training is provided through in-service. The CIT program offers additional training to the officers in the unit and there are standards regarding CIT officers responding to or being dispatched to calls with certain criteria.

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    Dan Sharp

    Our department has a fairly robust CIT program. We have recently increased the number of CIT officers in the department. It is based on the Memphis model and was established following an OIS of a consumer in December of 2000. The department maintains good working relationships with the area hospitals and mental health facilities.

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      Mitchell Lofton

      We do not currently have a team, but we do have a good working relationship with the local hospital. Unfortunately, they are the only hospital in the area that deals with the mentally ill and have at times refused a patient because they had been recently released from care. It will truly take a community effort to resolve.

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    Kent Ray

    The history of the CIT program was interesting. I was surprised that it started in 1988. It was also good the see the statistics on the mental health rates at the time the research was done that provided the numbers that were presented in the course. New research would be interesting to see because young adults seem less resilient. My agency was seeing a steady increase in the number of mental health calls each year prior to COVID. With COVID, the number of mental health calls has accelerated. My agency requires all patrol officers be CIT certified and these skills are put to use daily. In addition to the number of mental health calls with traditional citizens, the number of homeless seems to be increasing rapidly, which further increases the demand for CIT skill and mental health services. I don’t see how any law enforcement agency can meet the current societal expectations and properly serve their communities without CIT training.

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      Jeremy Harrison

      Kent,
      I was a little discouraged to hear some of the studies coming out but that the methodology was not sound, leaving us with little evidence to provide to the community. I believe most people are on board with any CIT program, but it is unfortunate to see the program politicized at times. We have had incidents where a consumer was involved in an officer involved shooting and the concerns around CIT are discussed. In the political realm, there are some who believe all officers should be CIT and others who dismiss the program altogether. It is encouraging to see all officers at your agency are CIT and I believe we will get there eventually. We have some contractual issues to overcome as CIT officers receive incentive pay which would be a significant cost to the city if it was received by all officers.

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        Jeff Spruill

        Jeremy, the politicization you mention was a huge frustration of mine after one of our shootings. A member of the media asked if the involved officers were CIT certified. They were not, which the reporter then interpreted as "had no mental health training." Other outlets picked up on this story and rather quickly it was widely reported that our officers did not have any mental health training. This is, of course, untrue. For others reading this reply, all of our officers have mental health training both in the academy and annually as a dedicated in-service class. It was a strange way to see our CIT program used.

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    Jeremy Harrison

    Our CIT program was implemented prior to my employment. The earliest procedures were developed in early 2003. The CIT program has always been something I have been aware of but never personally volunteered to join. I know that at times in my career, it was somewhat of a joke as the CIT officers did not have a reputation for responding to or handling many mental health calls unless they just happened to be the original patrol officer assigned. However, in recent years that has changed. CIT officers are now required to respond to any call involving mental health. Additionally, we have implemented an iPad program where CIT officers can be connected to mental health professionals while in the field and have that mental health professional speak with the consumer. The iPad program is especially beneficial in instances where there are not criteria to detain but the consumer does need treatment. The mental health professional and the officer can work together to convince the consumer to seek services. It is exciting to see the growth and future of the CIT program.

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    Jeff Spruill

    It will be interesting to see if cities begin moving away from CIT in favor of other response models. The Denver program has been making headlines lately, and I learned a few weeks ago that Chicago is piloting a program that currently involves a team of an officer, an EMT, and a social worker/mental health professional. Their plan is that if it is successful, their next step will be to remove the officer and make it an officer free response plan. The trick, as I see it, in jurisdiction like mine is that we are large enough to have a lot of need, but probably too small to be able to sustain the required number of social workers for these response teams. Our other social services have problems staffing enough workers as it is now. That is all to say, the need for police CIT programs i likely to exists for quite a while, and if just a few social workers in police free response systems gets hurt, that model may unravel quickly.

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    Devon Dabney

    Crisis intervention teams are important to have in all agencies. Knowing how to effectively communicate and recognize the signs of mental illness can help reduce injuries. Mental health is increasing, and all police officers need to be trained in how to handle the mentally ill. A lot of mental illness comes from drug abuse.

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      Lawrence Dearing

      I agree, Devon, that it is a good idea to do the research and see what model fits best for your agency. Unfortunately, mental health issues are on the rise, and we are left with fewer and fewer options because no one wants to invest in mental health treatment. We are left to deal with it in our jails and that is definitely not the place for some of these consumers. I have found that drug abuse is often a coping mechanism for the mentally ill, but the reaction to their prescribed medications make it difficult to deal with them at times.

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    Todd Walden

    It's essential to have as much intel as possible on whoever you deal with, especially the mentally ill. Any method to resolve an issue without force or injury is a win

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      Jason Doucet

      I agree with you Todd. Also having a prior relationship with the subject that has resulted in positive outcomes in the past can be highly beneficial to any future occurrence.

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    Crisis Intervention Teams: This CIT partnership with the community in exposing the breadth and depth of mental health issues is another good way to get the community involved so they can see the daily challenges in law enforcement. In engaging the community, we can build strong relationships and ownership with our constituents where additional options and resources become available. With a community-based CIT model, all assets can be brought to the table for an effective outcome.

    When LEO’s are trained to recognize and employ mental health strategies with consumers, we are truly serving the community and just as importantly, the career of our subordinates. How many LEO’s have lost their careers or how many organizations have lost the communities trust due in part to this lack of mental health training? When LEO’s can’t recognize a subject in need of mental health help or know how to deal with someone in need or service, negative outcomes are just another call away.

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    Chris Fontenot

    I think we all can relate to a situation where we dealt with a mental patient that committed a criminal act or was deemed a danger to himself. One incident I recall involved SWAT and a barricaded subject who eventually began to shoot at the officers on perimeter. Had there been a CIT program in place like this lesson discusses, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

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    Lawrence Dearing

    My agency currently has a successful CIT program, and many officers have been trained in the basic 40-hour course. Other police, corrections and communications officers have received mental health first aid training as well. It is remarkable what JPSO has been able to achieve with their program and it's great to have numerous models to observe and study. I would suggest some type of program for every agency, as we have seen a significant reduction in crisis incidents since implementing our team.

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    Jimmie Stack

    My agency has adopted the CIT training and we frequently send officers to become certified in CIT. Furthermore, I am a certified instructor in CIT training for my agency and it has opened my eyes that most people are suffering from some form of mental illness whether it is documented or not. I believe CIT training is a crucial tool in reducing officer-involved use of forces.

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    Jimmie Stack

    Lawrence, I agree with you and I have had several conversations with Lt. Gil Reith from JPSO who is your agency coordinator regarding CIT. I can say it is outstanding the work and resources that JPSO has dedicated to incorporate CIT. I believe all officers, support staff, and administrators should take some form of CIT training.

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    Mitchell Lofton

    While our agency has several crisis negotiators, we have just sent our first officer to the forty-hour course for CIT training. While our agency is too small for a dedicated team of officers, I see the need in our community to have numerous officers attend the training. I was impressed with the numbers reporting higher confidence and lower uses of force and officer injuries. I believe these skills will also benefit general de-escalation tactics.

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    Kecia Charles

    CiT training is critical in these times since jail has unfortunately becoming to new mental hospital. There are not enough mental health beds in my state so jail has become the next best place for hose experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a total disservice for people suffering from mental illness.

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    Lance Richards

    Our agency sends members to become CIT certified regularly. I'm not sure of the exact number we have certified, but I would venture to say it's most of the department. I have been through this training and can see the benefits of officers completing this course.

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    Tommy “Chris” Weeks

    The prevalence of mental health issues in this country has regrettably been dropped at the doorstep of law enforcement. I recently attended our states Chiefs Association conference and I had the opportunity to hear Chiefs of Police from all over the state vent their frustrations with this crisis and the apparent lack of assistance. Unfortunately, It only seems to matter when an officer has to use force on one of these individuals. After being exposed to the concept of CIT training, my Chief wishes to go the route of the JPSO and send all of our patrolmen to the 40-hour training. If this training can improve our officer's attitudes, knowledge, and confidence when dealing with these individuals in crisis, it is a win-win for all involved.

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    Walter Banks

    I have found that every time there is a failure in our society, law enforcement is expected to correct the problems. They call us when the school has issues they don't want to address. Without any training, we are expected to become school counselors. When the government cut the budget for mental health, we were expected to function as therapists without training. The C.I.T. training program is an excellent adaptation to protect officers from these failures in society.

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      Paul Smith

      The CIT training has given the first responders and advantage. CIT has given the officers a better way to deal with the consumers.

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      Cedric Gray

      I agree. The wide-spread implementation of crisis intervention teams helps to alleviate law enforcement agencies' other organizational pressures and societal obligations.

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    Paul Smith

    My agency has implemented the CIT training throughout the agency. I have counted on this training throughout my time on the agency. The training has allowed the agency to better serve the consumers and allow them get the help needed than just bringing them to jail.

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    Jason Doucet

    CIT training has been a great improvement in Law Enforcement as many agencies are beginning to send more and more officers to the training. Many techniques by this training have helped in numerous ways and are greatly beneficial to officers. But, as referenced by Dr. Normore, it takes a collaborative effort between officers, hospital staff, mental health services, and even ambulance personnel.

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    Cedric Gray

    Societal expectations of policing have increased significantly in the past few decades to a point well past the narrow expectation of enforcing laws. In many instances involving mental illness presenting danger to the public, police response is necessary. The specialized training of crisis intervention teams is necessary to reduce use of force instances, prevent unnecessary injury to officers, and satisfy the mental health needs of communities.