Since 2003, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) has provided state-certified Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to law enforcement officers throughout Illinois. Participants of this one week (40 hour block) of instruction receive intensive training on recognizing and addressing individuals in the community who have a mental illness or other behavioral disability. ILETSB trained officers are trained as resource specialists who can provide an immediate and effective response to calls involving a mental health crisis. The course, taught by a cadre of instructors, includes (but is not limited to) the following topics:
The five day course includes presentations by behavioral health specialists, experienced field officers, and representatives from regional service providers. While the course addresses statewide standards, it remains flexible to address locally identified issues of concern.
After an initial presentation, the officers receive valuable exercises that simulate some of the hallucinations that many individuals with a mental illness may experience. While listening to a series of recorded voices, officers rotate through workstations where they are asked to perform cognitive tasks – allowing them to gain insight into what an individual who is subject to such a barrier experiences.
Later in the week, each officer will also have a unique opportunity to participate in discussions with individuals who have a mental illness and or their family members. These firsthand accounts of living with mental challenges provide insight for an officer outside of the typical field encounter and allow each officer to better understand the nuances of specific disorders.
Finally, officers are given opportunities to exercise their skills in realistic scenarios portrayed by professional actors which may include suicide interventions, de-escalating a potentially violent situation, responding to a call involving an individual experiencing paranoia or a person interacting with a peer in a manic episode behaving in an inappropriate manner. All scenarios are facilitated by and evaluated by trained CIT officers.
To date, the ILETSB has certified over 4,300 officers statewide, from more than 280 agencies in this specialized program.
For additional information, please contact the CIT Statewide Coordinator, Jennifer Wooldridge at email@example.com
CIT International is offering free annual membership to recent (90 day) 2016 CIT graduates (the regular $25 Individual Membership dues is waived in 2016 for one-year). For more information and to sign up, please see the attached membership form.