GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) - Sumner County has implemented a Crisis Intervention Team Community Program involving personnel from communications and law enforcement.
Personnel from the Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville and Portland police departments, the Sumner County Emergency Communications Center and Sumner County Sheriff’s Office have received specialized training from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Tennessee.
This team of specially trained dispatchers, deputies and officers are equipped with knowledge, techniques and resources to assist people experiencing mental health crisis on the phone or in the field.
Often in the past people in crisis were believed to be a threat to themselves or society, which called for a law enforcement response. Few officers at that time were trained to recognize crisis or knew how to deal with it.
Crisis Intervention Team members are available on the phone at the Emergency Communications Center. They can identify people in crisis and dispatch fellow officer or deputy CIT members to the person in crisis.
The CIT model has been used in other parts of the state and nation with great success, according to a news release. In fact, mental services consumers refer to these officers as “their CIT officers” and will reach out to CIT members specifically when they feel crisis coming on.
These officers are identified by CIT pins they will wear on their uniforms.
“The CIT pins tell the world ‘I’m trained and will make the time to help you” to anybody who needs it,” said Sumner County Sheriff Capt. Carl McCoy in a news release.
“This type of training is essential for law enforcement to provide the most effective service to those in crisis,” said Hendersonville Police Commander Janel Rogan in a news release. “It is what society expects from its officers.”
The latest class of Crisis Intervention Team members will have a pinning ceremony on March 12 where each dispatcher, officer and deputy will receive their CIT pin identifying them as a Sumner County Crisis Intervention Team member.