Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Police and first responder intervention training to deal with mentally ill is available in San Mateo County

San Francisco Examiner/Peninsula/S. Parker Yesko, 6/20/14. "San Mateo County emergency responders receive training to better work with mentally ill."

CIT training is available in San Mateo County
"The Crisis Intervention Training academy works to bridge the gap between crime fighters and health care providers by helping police understand how to de-escalate encounters with mentally ill individuals and get them the help they need. The program’s 17th class graduated this month.

“We’ve changed a lot of attitudes [in law enforcement], not only about dealing with the consumer, but dealing with a lot of folks in the mental health bureaucracy,” said Jim Coffman, deputy sheriff and coordinator of Crisis Intervention Training.  .... Within the Sheriff’s Office, which initiates about four to six involuntary psychiatric commitments per week, roughly 200 deputies are already CIT-certified, by Coffman’s estimates.

The course is open to first responders of any sort, including police officers and dispatchers, sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers, as well as private paramedics and security officers who contract with the county. Though the CIT academy is not yet part of California’s mandated training for peace officers, some have suggested at the state level that the training should be incorporated into the police academy, according to Coffman. For now, most participants volunteer or are encouraged by their superiors to attend, with their agencies footing the $250 bill."   Read article.

Related -  Pacifica Patch/Bea Karnes, 6/13/14, "Law enforcement officers receive Crisis Intervention Training," (information provided by San Mateo County Sheriff's Office).  "Mental Health Professionals and Law Enforcement Personnel from multiple agencies joined forces recently for San Mateo County Crisis Intervention Training or ‘CIT’ in Belmont (6/2/14)"  Note:  photograph from this Patch articled, courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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