Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officers help to improve interaction between law enforcement and persons with mental illness and prevent the inappropriate restraint, incarceration, and stigmatization of persons with mental illness. CIT Officers help reduce injury to officers, family members, and individuals in crisis, and link individuals with mental illness to appropriate treatment and resources in the community.
CIT training is designed to educate and prepare police officers who come into contact with people with mental illnesses to recognize the signs and symptoms of these illnesses and to respond effectively and appropriately to individuals in crisis. Because police officers are often the first responders in these incidents, it is essential that they know how mental illnesses can alter people’s behaviors and perceptions. The trained CIT officer is skilled at de-escalating crises involving people with mental illness, while bringing an element of understanding and compassion to these difficult situations.
Benefits of CIT
– Decrease in arrest rates and reported injuries for persons with mental illness.
– Officer injury rates during crisis events decline.
– Increased officer recognition.
– Under-served consumers are identified by officers and provided with care.
– Officers are better trained and educated in verbal de-escalation techniques
It’s OK to ask for a CIT Officer
The CIT Program is a service to the community, so don’t be afraid to use it. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to call law enforcement to intervene with a person experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s okay to request a CIT officer.