Community Magazine

CIT – Crisis Intervention Training for Police Officers

By Gran13

POLICEMAN January 17, 2013

WHAT IS CIT ?  It is a collaboration of professionals committed to assisting people suffering from mental illness and other brain disorders. It includes members of mental health service providers, family members and law enforcement officers.

WHAT IS CIT TRAINING?  This program trains law enforcement officers to effectively and humanely interact with people who are suffering from mental illnesses. It is comprised of classroom instruction as well as practical exercises delivered by mental health professionals and law enforcement instructors.

WHY IS CIT IMPORTANT TO ME?  Because my son, who suffered from a mental illness was involved with the police on various occasions. Because these police officers respond to public safety situations involving persons in psychiatric crisis. These situations have the potential to be high risk to all involved and consequently require a trained response. This training provides the officers with the knowledge and practical skills that can be used when dealing with people who are suffering from a mental illness. Law enforcement officers are the first responders and are responsible for handling the incident in the most professional manner possible. CIT Training provides them with the tools to interact humanely and in a professional manner with the persons suffering from a mental illness.

WHAT CAN A POLICE OFFICER EXPECT TO GAIN FROM THIS TRAINING?   He/she will learn communication skills that can minimize the use of force in many instances, thus protecting both the officers involved as well as the person in crisis. Although the use of force may ultimately be necessary in some situations, it has been proven from experience that the de-escalation skills learned in this training course often reduce the level  of force needed and can save lives.


“This was one of the best courses I have ever taken in my whole law-enforcement career.”

This course gave me a new outlook on how to deal with people suffering from a mental illness.”

” I now realize that there are times when a person’s refusal to comply with a policeman’s commands may be the result of a mental illness.”

“This course provided me with a basic understanding of human behavior as well as alternate methods of responding to those in crisis.”

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