"...most important training any officer could go to."
- Chief of Police, Jeff Pritchard
The Crisis Intervention Team Program was developed in 1988 by the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department in response to a tragic incident. In 1987, police officers in Memphis fatally shot a suicidal person who was cutting himself with a knife after approaching officers. After the incident, there was an outcry from the public for the department's dealing of the incident that ultimately prompted the mayor to establish a task force to investigate the incident and make recommendations for improvement.
The task force ultimately created the CIT training program in an attempt to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again.
CIT programs are local initiatives designed to improve the way law enforcement and the community respond to people experiencing mental health crises.
CIT Works — for law enforcement, for consumers and for the community.
CIT equips police officers to interact with individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis.
CIT reduces officer injuries, SWAT team emergencies and the amount of time officers spend on the disposition of mental disturbance calls.
CIT helps keep people with mental illnesses out of jail and gets them into treatment.
Police, First Responders, Corrections Officers and other Public Safety personnel
The course teaches unique risk factors and warning signs of dealing with Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Intellectual and Developmental Disability situations.
It is 40 hrs of training including role play. Topics include:
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions began its CIT program in January of 2008. Since that time, Cardinal Innovations has held several classes per year in each region and has trained over 900 officers to date. CIT Coordinators in most regions manage the CIT programs, facilitating CIT Steering Committees, organizing the programs, identifying speakers and working with Community Colleges to make the programs successful. Key stakeholders include NAMI and provider agencies.
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