Crisis Intervention Team trained in Gloucester County
(Deptford, NJ) - The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) held their first training session in Gloucester County from Oct. 21 to Oct. 25 at Rowan College of South Jersey – Gloucester County. The CIT program is a local initiative designed to improve the way law enforcement and community mental health providers respond as a team to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, said, "It is important for our local officers to understand and obtain the skills necessary in dealing with individuals who may be showing signs of mental illness or other mental disorders and how they can de-escalate a situation or assist an individual before mental health providers arrive on scene."
The program is built on a strong partnership between law enforcement and mental health providers and is designed to educate about the unique signs and symptoms of not only mental illness, but also developmental disabilities, co-occurring mental illness, and substance use disorder. The class provided participants with knowledge on de-escalation skills to keep the situation calm until mental health professionals arrive.
“By providing our officers with these skills, we are actively reducing the risk of a situation escalating while also educating officers on the signs and symptoms of mental health and mental disorders. The more we teach about mental health disorders and handling those who suffer from it, the more we promote a safe and understanding community,” Jefferson added.
Pictured: Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Prosecutor Charles A. Fiore, and the first CIT Program Class in Gloucester County