A group of law enforcement officers has successfully completed Dutchess County’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
The training is hosted by the Dutchess County Government, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH), the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, and PEOPLe, Inc. as part of the Dutchess County Police Academy.
The 28 graduates were recognized in a ceremony Friday, Nov. 30 at the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department on Tucker Drive.
Since the program’s 2015 inception, more than 300 law enforcement officers of state, local, correctional and probational levels have completed the training, which takes place over the course of five days and equates to 40 hours.
The CIT training is designed to educate officers about how to properly interact with individuals who may be in a state of crisis due to developmental or behavioral health issues.
This bridge between law enforcement and mental health professionals is intended to “divert individuals dealing with mental illness from entering the jail,” according to a press release.
“This vital training gives law enforcement officers the skills to recognize the signs of mental crisis to more effectively interact with the individual to help redirect them from the criminal justice system and toward community organizations that can provide the care and services they need,” said County Executive Marc Molinaro. “By thinking differently about people with developmental disabilities and those suffering from mental health issues, we can take a step closer to stomping out the stigma associated with mental illness and treat these individuals with the compassion they need.
"I congratulate the officers who have completed this year’s training and thank our partner organizations and the instructors for their continued leadership and resources. We look forward to continuing this training in 2019.”
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