Crisis Intervention Team
Police Departments across the country are frequently called to crisis incidents involving persons with a mental illness. Sometimes these situations are high risk and can lead to tragedy. Realizing the need for a specialized law enforcement team that could effectively, compassionately and safely deal with persons involved in a mental health crisis. The De Soto Police Department believes that being equipped to properly deal with those individuals with mental illnesses is crucial to helping these individuals get the appropriate care. Nearly all of the Police Officers within our agency have received training in dealing with individuals with mental illnesses. Its important that our first responders have this training so that individual incidents can be assessed and handled accordingly to avoid someone needing help be shuffled into the system in the wrong direction.
The De Soto Police Departments CIT is made up of officers who participate in a 40-hour training program. This is a specialized course which provides officers with the skills, methods and tactics to safely de-escalate incidents involving persons involved in a mental health crisis. Upon receiving this specialized training, officers return to their normal day to day function but are available to respond to and handle mental health crisis situations.
There are some benefits to a CIT
- Greater efficiency in obtaining care for persons involved in a mental health crisis.
- Significant decrease in injuries, death and community dissent.
- Reduction of recidivism and arrests by diverting individuals somewhere they can receive the help they need with the assistance of a (Mental Health Liaison) at times
- Enhances officer skills and on-scene expertise in responding safely to mental health crisis situations and increases citizen confidence in reporting incidents.
- Increased cooperation between criminal justice and mental health systems.
- Established responsibility and accountability.
- Improved satisfaction from the mentally ill person and their family.
- Increased officer safety.
If you are dealing with a mental health crisis, whether an emergency or non-emergency situation you may request that the dispatcher who takes your call send a CIT Officer to your home if available.