Passaic County Police Crisis Intervention Team

Passaic County Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT)

What is CIT?

Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT) program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or addiction disorders, their families and other advocates.  Together they volunteer their time to offer a 5 day, 40-hour intensive training for Law Enforcement that emphasizes mental health knowledge, crisis resolution skills, and access to community based services. De-escalation techniques are taught to be combined with their active listening skills.  Our goal is to use verbal communication before using force when interacting with an individual in a mental health crisis. 

Why do we need it?

Police Officers are often the first to respond to a community member experiencing a crisis or distress related to a mental illness and/or addiction disorders yet they often lack the training and knowledge of resources to intervene in the most effective manner. This lack of training can result in an ineffective response, unnecessary use of force or fatality.  In response to this training need the Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT) program a national model of police based crisis intervention training was developed in Memphis., Tennessee.     

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to CIT training that is supported by outcome data from over 2,700 communities nationwide that have implemented a CIT training program.  These benefits include: diverting persons in crisis to mental health care and other treatment instead of jails, reducing use of force though increased verbal de-escalation skills, increased officer safety, improved officer attitude and a reduction of officer and community member injury.

Course Overview and Objectives:

http://www.cit-nj.org/cit-nj-course/

How did the Passaic County Crisis Intervention Team Training begin?

 In 2009 the Mental Health Association in Passaic County launched the Passaic County Crisis Intervention Team Task Force and brought together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency services, community members and individuals with mental illness and their families. In 2011 the Passaic County Crisis Intervention Team offered their first training class.

Achievements:

  • Graduated 950 Law Enforcement Professionals, First Responders, Advocates, family members and Mental Health/Social Service Professionals.
  • In 2020 the Passaic County Crisis Intervention Team was honored by the CIT-NJ Center of Excellence which supports and assists counties across the state to develop and implement CIT programs for their counties. Our Passaic County CIT Program received an award in recognition of their dedication and leadership and achieving 10 years of training.

If you wish to get involved or learn more about Crisis Intervention Team Training in Passaic County, please contact:

Rebekah Leon, Passaic County CIT Mental Health Coordinator rleon@mhapassaic.org  or 973-478-4444 ext. 116

Sgt. Lynette Butler, Passaic County CIT Law Enforcement Coordinator butlerl@wpunj.edu or 973-720-3848

Helpful Links

CIT International link

https://www.citinternational.org/

CIT-NJ Center for Excellence link

http://www.cit-nj.org/

NAMI link

https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Crisis-Intervention/Crisis-Intervention-Team-(CIT)-Programs