Save Lives by Requiring Crisis Intervention Training for All Police Officers
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At the moment, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is considered optional for our police officers. This life-saving program teaches officers how to better interact with mentally ill citizens, whether it be for a wellness check or a reported disturbance. This sort of training is crucial, as 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental illness (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Sadly, however, we can see the apparent shortage of Crisis Intervention Training as those with mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other citizens (Democracy Now). When a person calls the police to perform a welfare check on a loved one, the goal is to make sure they're alive and ok. Too frequently, these checks escalate, due to a lack of training, and their loved one is killed. Through CIT, officers can learn from those living with mental illness by participating in an interactive panel where civilians share their own experiences and answer officers' questions. With Crisis Intervention Training our police officers can be better prepared to provide the help that is necessary.
This training not only protects civilians, but officers as well - forces that utilize Crisis Intervention Training have reported an 80% decrease in officer injuries (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Assistant Attorney General of Ohio, Christie Limbert, called CIT ,"the best investment law enforcement and a community can make in responding to individuals with mental health issues. The fact is, CIT saves lives, including law enforcement officers’ lives."
Research is overwhelmingly in favor of Crisis Intervention Training as its benefits have been proven time and time again. It is not too much to ask that our police force is adept to handle the needs of ALL civilians. Proper training starts here.
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