Tuesday, September 25, 2007

CIT: It shouldn't be the only tool

Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is an excellent tool for law enforcement officers who will inevitably encounter a person with a mental illness who is in crisis. The training helps officers to de-escalate situations that may otherwise turn deadly.

CIT is a very important tool, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

Law enforcement officers in Buchanan County, Missouri will be receiving CIT “in light of dwindling funding for mental health programs and increased demand for such programs”

Police Sergeant Matt Rock, a CIT supervisor in Buchanan County said:

“The response for CIT officers will range from a call of a mentally-ill person caught shoplifting to an emotionally-distressed subject threatening to jump off a bridge. The officers will facilitate emergency mental health assessments at the scene of a crisis."

Is it too much to ask to have police officers enforce the law and mental health professionals provide mental health evaluations?

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