LONDON KY—London Police Officers Travis Couch and Mike Holliday recently completed Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training. The 40 hour course helps police react appropriately to situations involving mental illness or developmental disabilities. It is estimated that in a given year an average of one in four adults in the U.S. suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.
“This training helps us better recognize a mental illness, how to better communicate with someone who has a mental illness, and how to approach the situation in a safer way,” said Ofc. Couch.
The majority of the London Police Department’s officers are now trained in CIT, which better serves the London Community, said London Police Chief Derek House. In many communities, CIT has served as a springboard for a broader collaboration between the criminal justice and mental health system. Suicide attempts and mental health crisis concerns are a priority, Ofc. Holliday said, adding, “As mental illness becomes more prevalent in our communities, we want to be sure we are approaching every situation the right way. The CIT training provides us the ability to assist other officers and take over a mental health emergency to make sure it’s handled appropriately.”
Crises are about people, our community, our families, our friends, and our loved ones. CIT is founded on principles of dignity, understanding, kindness, hope, and dedication. CIT training for officers has the potential to reduce the number of unnecessary arrests, minimize the use of force, and increase referrals to mental health facilities.