In 2000, the Lee’s Summit Police Department sought a more effective method of delivering behavioral health services to those persons who struggle with behavioral health issues. The Police Department was spending an inordinate amount of time on calls for service and repeated contacts with these persons.
As a result, the police department partnered with ReDiscover and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill - Kansas City Chapter (NAMI-KC) in order to initiate a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). At the time, this was the first CIT program in Missouri. Soon thereafter, these organizations formed the Mid-America Crisis Intervention Team in the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan Area.
The partners chose to model the Memphis Police Department’s CIT program for several reasons:
- The model was law enforcement based.
- It had a mobile crisis component.
- It emphasized building relationships between law enforcement, the behavioral health community and consumers.
The program has lead to a greater understanding of mental illness on the part of officers. In turn, patients and family members have a greater understanding of law enforcement and law enforcement practices and protocols. Research has shown that the program aids people in getting the type of assistance they need ,while ensuring the safety of all those involved.
Although police officers volunteer to become CIT officers, there is a rigorous selection process to determines their suitability. If selected, officers attend the Basic CIT Course (40 hours). The course includes instruction in the following topics: overview of mental illness, medication management and identification, deescalation techniques, police suicide and suicide by cop, family and consumer panels, site visits, cultural diversity, etc. Upon graduation, the officers wear a special pin which designates them as specially trained. This method of identification often helps alleviate anxiety on the part of the patient and/or their family.
For additional information contact:
Additional Behaviorial Health Resources:
Mid-America Crisis Intervention Team