Submitted photo and press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:
Early this year, Genesee County was selected to be the recipient of technical assistance and funding to develop a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program with resources made available through the NYS Senate and allocated to the NYS Office of Mental Health.
The Office of Mental Health (OMH), Division of Forensic Services, is managing the crisis intervention services initiative.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is a program that has been developed to help police officers in situations involving individuals with mental illness. The concept of CIT began in Memphis, Tenn., in 1988, and has become nationally known as the “Memphis Model” of pre-arrest jail diversion for those in a mental health crisis.
A Crisis Intervention Team is a group of experienced police officers who volunteer to receive an additional, one-week training in mental health-related issues.
Last week, local law enforcement officers from the Genesee and Wyoming County sheriff's offices, the City of Batavia Police Department, Village of Le Roy Police Department, Village of Attica Police Department, and Genesee and Wyoming county probation offices participated in training.
The training will prepare officers so that when they are the first responders to an incident, they have the knowledge, skills and support to de-escalate situations and divert individuals from the criminal and juvenile justice systems, when it’s appropriate to do so.
Among the goals of CIT programs are to reduce the number of arrests of individuals with mental illness, refer them to treatment facilities or other support services, and eliminate adverse incidents between law enforcement and those with mental illness. CIT programs involve ongoing collaboration and partnerships between, and among, law enforcement, the mental health system, and consumer and advocacy groups.
Photo: Local law enforcement officers from the Genesee and Wyoming County sheriff's offices, the City of Batavia Police Department, Village of Le Roy Police Department, Village of Attica Police Department, and Genesee and Wyoming county probation offices who participated in CIT training.