Crisis Intervention Team
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a program that trains police officers on how to respond and handle situations that involve individuals with a mental illness. Officers go through a 40 hour training course to learn about how to create connections between law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency services and individuals with mental illness and their families.
Not only can CIT programs bring community leaders together, they can also help keep people with mental illness out of jail and in treatment, on the road to recovery. That’s because diversion programs like CIT reduce arrests of people with mental illness, while simultaneously increasing the likelihood that individuals will receive mental health services.
CIT programs also:
Give police officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively. Research shows that CIT is associated with improved officer attitude and knowledge about mental illness. In Memphis, for example, CIT resulted in an 80% reduction of officer injuries during mental health crisis calls.
Keep law enforcement’s focus on crime. Some communities have found that CIT has reduced the time officers spend responding to a mental health call. This puts officers back into the community more quickly.
Produce cost savings. It’s difficult to estimate exactly how much diversion programs can save communities. But incarceration is costly compared to community-based treatment. For example, in Detroit an inmate with mental illness in jail costs $31,000 a year, while community-based mental health treatment costs only $10,000 a year.
The Northwood Police Department partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Wood County to effectively train and provide resources for those with mental illness.
For more information, visit the NAMI Wood County website at https://namiwoodcounty.org/