Kingston Police Department Officers Complete Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training
Mayor Noble and Chief Tinti were pleased to congratulate KPD Sergeant Osterhoudt, along with the 13 other KPD officers, on the completion of this course.
On Friday, August 11th a graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the culmination of 40 hours of training offered to local (Ulster County) police officers. Attending were 28 officers from the City of Kingston, Ulster County Sheriff's, Saugerties Police, New Paltz Police and Ulster Police Departments. 14 of the officers who completed this training came from the Kingston Police Department. Each of them volunteered to attend!
One of the reasons CIT is successful is that it connects officers with a team of clinicians and fellow officers who can advise, problem-solve and support them when a challenging situation occurs.
Some of the training consists of:
* Learning from mental health professionals and experienced officers in our community.
* Personal interaction with people who have experienced and recovered from mental health crisis and with family members who have cared for loved ones with mental illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) members present at the training, providing officers a first-hand opportunity to hear stories of recovery, ask questions and learn what helps (and harms) when a person is in a crisis.
* Verbal de-escalation skills. CIT teaches a new set of skills for ensuring officer safety - the words, approach and body language that convince a person to get help, or defuse a potentially violent encounter.
* Scenario-based training on responding to crises. With the help of volunteers or actors, officers practice their skills in common crisis situations, and get immediate feedback from instructors and classmates
The course is designed to teach officers how to aid those individuals in crisis by utilizing the resources available in the community.
From the NAMI website: "A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program is a model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need."
Thank you and stay safe!