The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in March of 2009 that the number of suicides among returning and serving military members had more than doubled between 2004 and 2008. Confrontations between police and veterans experiencing mental health crises are on the rise as well. A RAND report from 2008 estimates that more than 11 percent of returning veterans from
In September, the first class of 40 Veterans CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officers graduated from training in
The training lasts 40 hours, which is on top of the basic 40-hour CIT training. Topics covered include traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, veteran women’s issues, community resources and extensive role-plays. The training includes the hallmark of CIT: Family and consumer perspectives, including a panel of veterans who have experienced mental illness to answer officers’ questions.
In order to participate, officers must be CIT trained and must submit an application. Preference is given to officers who are veterans, and to officers who have been trained by the FBI as Hostage Negotiators. Finally, where the officer is assigned is taken into consideration, as the plan is to have Veterans CIT-trained officers available throughout the city.
Officers who are also been combat veterans testified to the realism of the training. The purpose of the training, said Murphy, was to, “inform all of our CIT officers of the storm coming home, and we decided not to tone the mes
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