As part of their ongoing Crisis Intervention Training, local police meet our members at work.
We were so grateful to ret. Lieutenant Charles Kenniff and the Sarasota Police Department for joining us on Tuesday as part of their Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). CIT is a week-long training for officers to learn about mental health symptoms and supports. This effort is designed to educate officers in addressing and deescalating situations in which a person experiencing a mental health crisis is involved. These trainings are highly effective at giving law enforcement tools that they can use to ask the right questions in order to identify supports, and divert outcomes from judicial to clinical.
Fifteen officers took a tour of the Academy, led by member Paul Hennekes. Paul was forthright in telling his personal story. Officers heard from other members as well as they toured the teams, asking questions, and getting to know our members as they most often are; productive, motivated and engaging. For those officers who don’t have personal connection to anyone with a mental health condition, they might only see the characteristics of crisis. We hope that their time at the Academy provided a broader picture of the lives of those who struggle with their mental health, and tools for helping them find the right support in place of arrest and incarceration.