In 2000, the Lee’s Summit Police Department sought a more effective method of delivering mental health services to those persons who struggle with mental 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 Lee’s Summit Police Department partnered with ReDiscover Mental Health and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill-Kansas City Chapter (NAMI-KC) in order to initiate a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program. At the time, this was the first CIT program in the State of 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 possessed an emphasis on building relationships between law enforcement, mental 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 patients in getting the type of assistance that they need while ensuring the safety of all those involved.
Although police officers volunteer to become CIT officers, they must submit to a rigorous selection process that determines their suitability. If they are 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; de-escalation 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 you can click on the names of the program coordinators to contact either Major Brian Wilson or Sergeant Charles Patillo:
ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH LINKS:
REDISCOVER MENTAL HEALTH
MID-AMERICA CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM