National Alliance on Mental Illness
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CIT Programs Continue to Expand
In Memphis, Tennessee after the police fatally shot a man with mental illness the citizens were outraged. The product of this became the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Officers with good records and several years of experience request and must be recommended for training as a CIT officer. The officers receive 40 hours of specialized training in recognizing and assisting people with mental illness that they encounter in their day-to-day police work. These officers are prioritized to calls that are known to have someone with mental illness as part of the call for service. Police departments across the United States has emulated this model successfully and significantly reduced the number of people with mental illness that are jailed or even killed by police officers. NAMI supports and encourages every police department to have trained CIT officers.
This summer over 20 people representing eight jurisdictions spent a week in Memphis to learn about the CIT program and how they could bring it to their community. Recently the first class of CIT officers graduated from the Atlanta Police Training Academy. The training is supported through the efforts of NAMI Georgia. You can read the full story about the CIT program in Georgia in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (opens in a new window and requires a free one-time registration).
As CIT programs continue to expand there will be the First Annual National Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference that will take place May 11-12, 2005, at the Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center. Currently the conference is seeking applications for Workshops. Download the workshop proposal form. To be added to the mailing list to receive a conference brochure when it is printed next year, contact
Jessica M. Poprocki
Learn more about CIT programs.