Spring Hill, TN – Detective Jeff Alexander recently attended a four-day Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Detective Alexander will be the Spring Hill Police Department’s (SHPD) CIT Coordinator. In that position he will serve as the liaison between the SHPD and mental health resources.
The CIT model, known as the “Memphis Model,” was first developed in 1988 and has spread throughout the country. In September 2007 a group of individuals who were dedicated to advancing CIT programs convened in Memphis to develop the Core Elements document. This effort was led by the founders of CIT, Dr. Randy Dupont and Major (retired) Sam Cochran.
The CIT program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and additional professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or addiction disorders, their families, and other advocates. It is an innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training to help persons with mental disorders and/or addictions access medical treatment rather than place them I the criminal justice system due to illness-related behaviors. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individual in crisis.
CIT is a program that provides the foundation necessary to promote community and statewide solutions to assist individuals with a mental illness and/or addictions. The CIT Model reduces both stigma and the need for further involvement with the criminal justice system. CIT provides a forum for effective problem solving regarding the interaction between the criminal justice and mental health care system and creates the context for sustainable change.
Research shows that communities that prescribe to the CIT Program model, have higher success rates in resolving serious crisis situations. The SHPD hopes to have five officers attend the CIT training in November of this year and more attend next year. More Information about CIT can be found here.