By JERRY WOLFFE
The first of two, five-day Crisis Intervention Team trainings for Oakland County Sheriff Deputies, and other local law enforcement begins on Monday (May 4) at 1690 Brown Road in Auburn Hills.
A second training was scheduled for the week of May 18 under a $275,000 Jail Diversion grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health. CIT is strategically designed to promote positive outcomes during crisis situations that require police assistance.
“We are especially thankful for the State’s vision in supporting this valuable initiative, as well as the opportunity to provide local law enforcement officers with the necessary resources to help ensure their success in assisting people in crisis,” said Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority Executive Director and CEO Willie Brooks.
Deputies who participate in CIT will receive 40 hours of comprehensive mental health training, which includes information about mental illness and developmental disabilities, opportunities to speak with advocates, individuals with mental illness and their families, and participation in role-playing scenarios.
“It is well worth mentioning that each of the deputies receiving CIT training at both sessions in May is doing so on a volunteer basis,” said Oakland County Sheriff, Michael Bouchard. “Their dedication to be better prepared when responding to individuals in crisis, especially those who have a mental health disorder, is an accurate reflection of the level of commitment to community safety adhered to by the entire Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.”
Law enforcement agencies throughout the country that utilize CIT have experienced significant reductions in the number of officer and personal injuries, as well as a decrease in arrest rates.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence, advocate-at-large of the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586-263-8950.