Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) Information and links
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board mandate
(50 ILCS 705/10.17) (Text of Section from P.A. 99-261) Sec. 10.17. Crisis intervention team training. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board shall develop and approve a standard curriculum for a certified training program in crisis intervention addressing specialized policing responses to people with mental illnesses. The Board shall conduct Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training programs that train officers to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, to de-escalate situations involving individuals who appear to have a mental illness, and connect that person in crisis to treatment. Officers who have successfully completed this program shall be issued a certificate attesting to their attendance of a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program. (Source: P.A. 99-261, eff. 1-1-16.)
THE CIT MODEL
It was a tragedy that spurred the coming together of stakeholders to develop the original CIT program in Memphis, TN. In 1988, following the fatal shooting of a man with a history of mental illness and substance abuse by a Memphis police officer (Dupont & Cochran, 2000), a community task force comprised of law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, and mental health advocates collaborated to develop what is now internationally known as the Memphis CIT model. The primary goals of the model are to increase safety in encounters and when appropriate, divert persons with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system to mental health treatment.
While the centerpiece of the model is 40 hours of specialized training for a select group of officers that volunteer to become CIT officers, proponents stress that CIT is more than just training (CIT International, 2012). CIT is an organizational and community intervention that involves changes in police department procedures as well as collaboration with mental health providers and other community stakeholders. According to the model, officers volunteer to receive 40 hours of training provided by mental health clinicians, consumer and family advocates, and police trainers. Training includes information on signs and symptoms of mental illnesses; mental health treatment; co-occurring disorders; legal issues and de-escalation techniques. CIT curriculums may also include content on developmental disabilities, older adult issues, trauma and excited delirium. Information is presented in didactic, experiential and practical skills/scenario based training formats. The training week may include panels of providers, family members and persons with mental illnesses as well as site visits to agencies in the community (Compton et al., 2011).
NY Times article 4-2016 -For Police, a Playbook for Conflicts Involving Mental Illness