CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM DEPUTIES READY FOR ANYTHING
CIT Role-Play Training
Thursday, February 28, 2013
South Florida State Hospital
800 E. Cypress Dr., Pembroke Pines
When a deputy is dealing with a person in crisis, what is the most powerful weapon he has? Often, it’s knowledge. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has put a priority on giving BSO deputies the specialized training required to effectively handle situations involving the mentally ill or developmentally disabled.
Twelve BSO deputies are attending the 40-hour training this week at the South Florida State Hospital in Pembroke Pines. The training is organized by CIT of Broward.
“The last thing we want to do is arrest someone for being mentally ill or homeless,” Sheriff Israel said. “The goal of Crisis Intervention Team training is to provide more efficient service to the community when responding to calls where a mentally ill person is in crisis, and to ensure the safety of both the deputy and the consumer of mental health services.”
Officers from Hollywood, Coral Springs, Plantation, Miramar, Seminole, Pembroke Pines and the Broward County School District also attended the semi-annual training. The instructors are mostly mental health professionals who volunteer to teach law enforcement officers. In addition to teaching attendees about mental illness, the instructors will provide guidance about how to link consumers to the available mental health resources in Broward County.
During the course that started Monday, trainees are learning about psychotropic medications, alcohol and drug use, the Baker and Marchman acts, the special needs of the elderly, post traumatic stress disorder, the homeless, children’s mental health, suicide awareness, crisis intervention and developmental disabilities.
BSO has just over 200 CIT trained deputies. Sheriff Israel hopes to expand that number to include all school resource deputies, field training officers and crisis negotiators.
This report by:
Media note: Thursday afternoon’s training will involve role-playing scenarios that begin at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a short break at 3.