Contributor: Agnes McFarlaneAfter three years of advocacy on the part of members of
This represented the fulfillment of a dream of those of us who saw the need for the training and were always dismayed to read in the paper of interactions gone wrong. I wasn’t convinced that we could make it happen. We are just ordinary folks, but that dream kept us going.
We continuously visited and spoke with police depts. giving them info on CIT supplied by Maj (ret.)
We had to convince our
In July 2008, eight members of the Task Force traveled to
We convened meetings of stakeholders and garnered more
One additional component of the Bucks CIT program is the preliminary training offered. Police Chiefs and upper level administrators are offered a three-and-one-half-hour course covering the methods and objectives of CIT Training. In addition, patrol officers attend a six-hour preliminary introduction to mental illness and CIT training. Although these introductory sessions are not considered to be the full training course, they lay an important groundwork for success of the 40-hour CIT Training Program. All training has received good to excellent ratings from the officers. Stories are starting to come in of the newly certified officers handling situations differently now that they had the new perspective.
I received a lot of encouragement from fellow NAMI advocates and I have to be honest: it was a roller-coaster ride at times. I would just say to anyone interested in starting a CIT, "never give up." Just keep contacting people and presenting the logic of using CIT as an additional tool for police officers. They can’t turn you down with NAMI on your side.
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