February 14, 2013 — The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team training program was highlighted in a new report released last month by the Council of State Governments Justice Center.
“Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts: Strategies to Support and Sustain Local Initiatives” examines statewide initiatives for supporting local-level specialized policing responses (SPRs) for people with mental illnesses. SPRs are designed to help individuals in crisis connect to community-based treatment and supports, when appropriate, instead of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
“The hope is that this report will assist states in developing their own statewide models based on the lessons we’ve already learned,” said Detective Ron Bruno, who heads Utah’s CIT training program with fellow SLCPD Detective Liane Frederick.
In the report, Police Chief Chris Burbank said: “Not everyone should have the additional responsibility that is encumbered by becoming a CIT officer, but that doesn’t mean they won’t respond to encounters involving consumers in the field. They need to have the appropriate skills in order to best respond to every call for service.”