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NOPD Graduates Newest Class of Officers Trained in Specialized De-escalation Techniques

by Tyler Gamble

September 6, 2016

Categories: On the Beat

Topics: Police Training

NOPD Graduates Newest Class of Officers Trained in Specialized De-escalation Techniques

The NOPD today (Sept. 6) graduated the newest class of police officers trained in specialized de-escalation techniques known as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. CIT is a nationally recognized ‘best practices’ approach in recognizing and managing behavior that may be attributable to a mental health disorder. This is the fourth class to graduate from the training since the program launched in September 2015. With this graduation, the NOPD has delivered on a commitment to train at least 20 percent of the patrol officers by August 2016 as part of the federal consent decree. NOPD will continue to train officers in CIT to exceed this 20 percent threshold and provide the best possible crisis response to the community.

“Police interactions with individuals in crisis due to mental illnesses or behavioral disorders can be uniquely dangerous situations for both officers and citizens,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. “CIT training equips our officers with the tools they need to keep themselves safe and to get help to those who need it. This comprehensive training is another example of how the NOPD is leading the way in police reform and modernizing police for the 21st century."

Learn more: Six ways the NOPD is modernizing policing for the 21st century

CIT officers received 40 hours of specialized training from mental health experts focused on techniques and best practices for minimizing the use of force against individuals in crisis due to mental illness or a behavioral disorder. Training includes lectures from mental health experts as well as on-site visitation and exposure to mental health facilities, intensive interaction with individuals with a mental illness and scenario-based de-escalation skills training. CIT officers are then assigned to each police district to respond to and de-escalate mental health and other crises.