The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community partnership working with mental health consumers and family members. Our goal is to set a standard of excellence for our officers with respect to treatment of individuals with mental illness. This is done by establishing individual responsibility for each event and overall accountability for the results. Officers will be provided with the best quality training available, they will be part of a specialized team which can respond to a crisis at any time and they will work with the community to resolve each situation in a manner that shows concern for the citizen?s well being.
In 1988, the Memphis Police Department joined in partnership with the Memphis Chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI), mental health providers, and two local universities (the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee) in organizing, training, and implementing a specialized unit. This unique and creative alliance was established for the purpose of developing a more intelligent, understandable, and safe approach to mental crisis events. This community effort was the genesis of the Memphis Police Department?s Crisis Intervention Team.
The CIT is made up of volunteer officers from each Uniform Patrol Precinct. CIT officers are called upon to respond to crisis calls that present officers face-to-face with complex issues relating to mental illness. CIT officers also perform their regular duty assignment as patrol officers.
The Memphis Police Department has approximately 225 CIT officers who participate in specialized training under the instructional supervision of mental health providers, family advocates, and mental health consumer groups. Due to the training, CIT officers can, with confidence, offer a more humane and calm approach. These officers maintain a 24 hour, seven day a week coverage.
The CIT Model has been instrumental in offering:
- Special trained officers to respond immediately to crisis calls
- Ongoing training of CIT officers at no expense to the City of Memphis
- Establishments of partnerships of police, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Memphis, mental health providers, and mental health consumers.
The Crisis Intervention Team program is a community effort enjoining both the police and the community together for common goals of safety, understanding, and service to the mentally ill and their families. It is to these goals the Memphis Police Department stands committed.
The CIT program provides an avenue for the development of community partnerships and the collaboration of working together for community interest of service and care. CIT is about doing the right thing for the right reasons. CIT recognizes a special population that deserves special care, treatment, and service. CIT is not about fame, fortune, nor glory, but rather, one of honor and service.