Several law enforcement agencies and health care personnel graduated from National Alliance of Mental Illness-Crisis Intervention Training.

Employees from the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, School Resource Officers, First Health of the Carolinas, and Southern Pines Police Department attended the week long course held at Sandhills Community College, according to a news release from the Moore County Sheriff’s Department.

“A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need,” according to the release.

The curriculum consisted of training law enforcement and health care providers in scenario-based training on responding to crises and learning verbal de-escalation skills. The students collaborated with mental health professionals and experienced officers in the community and spent time with people who have experienced and recovered from a mental health crisis and their family members who have cared for them.

“The benefits of CIT are numerous,” said Sheriff Godfrey. “CIT provides deputies, communicators and detention officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively. It helps us properly address those suffering from mental illness. CIT improves safety by teaching deputies, dispatchers, detention officers’ de-escalation skills that may be applied to all situations. The words used, the manner in which we approach an individual, reading body language may all be used to convince a person to get help, or defuse a potentially violent encounter. Sheriff’s personnel can apply their CIT skills to all emergency scenarios.”

Photos Courtesy of Moore County Sheriff’s Office


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