Syracuse, NY - Recently, over 20 law enforcement officers across Central New York received certificates for completing Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT) through a collaboration between the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, NYS Office of Mental Health, Sheriff’s Department and AccessCNY. The CIT program is intended to foster better relationships between individuals with disabilities or mental health diagnoses and law enforcement. CIT program also informs law enforcement about community based resources that provide alternatives for individuals they may encounter with a disability or mental health diagnosis. CIT can assist law enforcement from keeping these individuals out of the justice system and/or emergency room.
The CIT training program currently being conducted in Central New York is made possible through a partnership between the CNY Care Collaborative and AccessCNY. AccessCNY provides services that support individuals with developmental disabilities or mental health issues. As part of a grant program funded by the CNY Care Collaborative, AccessCNY received funding to conduct CIT trainings for law enforcement and first responders across the region.
The CIT program course includes 40-hour training instruction from both mental health professionals and law enforcement officials (current or former). Instruction includes: de-escalation techniques; conflict resolution; understanding mental health diagnoses and developmental disabilities; addiction; community based alternative resources; and the perspective of families of those with a mental health diagnosis. Training in these focus areas can help law enforcement greatly reduce the incidents of violence during encounters. The training also provides an opportunity to help law enforcement identify appropriate support services offered by community-based organizations. Connections with these services are important because they can reduce utilization of Emergency Rooms or hospital admissions during an encounter with an individual in crisis. They can also establish a relationship that allows individuals in need to receive on-going care.
The recent completion by local officers is the first in a series of training's that will be conducted through next year. In addition to the 40-hour course, abbreviated training sessions will be provided to first responders with an overall goal of providing training to approaximatley 500 individuals. For more information on CIT Training, please contact Sue Schultz [email protected] at AccessCNY.
City of Syracuse Deputy mayor Sharon Owens presents CIT Certification to law enforcement officer
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