In an effort to better equip law enforcement officers with skills and information in how to deal with the mentally ill, Vanderburgh County has created a Crisis Intervention Team program.
The program, which launches today, will train officers to recognize individuals who suffer from a mental illness, how to communicate with them, and de-escalate a situation without injury. The training will allow officers to decide whether a person needs to be referred for treatment, taken to the hospital for evaluation, or arrested. The goal is to prevent injury to police and the mentally ill and to resolve these kinds of situations in the best way possible.
The CIT program was created by the Memphis, Tenn., Police Department. Representatives from the Evansville Police Department, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office, Vanderburgh Superior Court and other organizations have worked to create and implement the program in Vanderburgh County.
The Southwestern Indiana Law Enforcement Academy will hold its first CIT training for Evansville Police Department and Vanderburgh County Sheriff Department officers Feb. 23, 2009. For more information on the program, contact Vanderburgh Superior Court Magistrate Jill R. Marcrum at (812) 435-5967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.