Certify Police Officers in Crisis Intervention
As calls for service involving mental health continue to increase in Naperville, the City’s first responders are in a unique position to employ crisis intervention techniques that will help de-escalate crisis situations, properly identify the root cause of the incident and connect residents with mental health conditions to available services throughout the community. This goal aims to reduce recidivism among the mental health community by certifying 20 percent of Naperville Police Department's officers and designated staff in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) by 2019.
What are we doing?
Establishing a Crisis Intervention Team involves a great deal of personnel, resources and training. Naperville Police Department officers and designated staff are being trained and certified in crisis intervention. Civilian staff members trained in CIT include licensed members of the department's social services unit as well as dispatchers.
While certification of team members is very important, buy-in and awareness by all public safety personnel is crucial to the success of the initiative. Therefore, all sworn officers were introduced to the CIT approach during in-service training in 2017.
Throughout the United States, CIT is primarily a law enforcement initiative. Naperville is unique in that the Naperville Fire Department is a full partner in this initiative, and Fire Department personnel are being introduced to effective communication techniques and de-escalation tactics, as well.
Why is this important?
Studies show that 25 percent of the adult population in the United States has a diagnosed mental illness, and Naperville’s public safety departments have identified an upward trend in mental health calls for service in the last five years. Crisis Intervention Team training is a more effective way for law enforcement to deal with individuals suffering from a mental health condition, in that it is a different approach to policing that involves more communication and de-escalation training as well as follow-up care.
The goal of CIT is to reduce the number of repeat calls for service for the same individual suffering from mental health issues by linking that person to available services in the community.
Research shows that officer injuries, arrest rates for the mentally ill, use of force, violence and use of restraints in hospital emergency departments, and liability for health care issues in jails/lockups all decreased in cities where departments embrace a CIT program. In addition, repeat calls for service may decrease and cost savings may be realized over time.
Training. Law enforcement as a whole is moving toward this CIT model to more effectively deal with persons with mental illness, making quality training in high demand and difficult to find. Naperville Police will continue to seek opportunities to train staff in CIT.
Additionally, Naperville’s Crisis Intervention Team will continue to track calls for service while also working toward establishing the second phase of the CIT program – Follow-up Care – which is detailed in a separate performance management goal monitored on this dashboard.
Individuals who develop a mental health condition are oftentimes limited in the resources needed to diagnose, understand and treat the condition. The City of Naperville is making a strong push to facilitate partnerships between its first responders and resources throughout the community that provide a variety of mental health resources. The list below provides contact information to a few of the community partners we are so proud to work with.
Links to Resources
- National Alliance on Mental Health Illness
- 360 Youth Services
- Kids Matter
- Naperville Community School District 203
- Indian Prairie School District 204
- DuPage County States Attorney's Office
- DuPage MICAP (Mental Illness Court Alternative Program)
- DuPage County Health Department
- Will County States Attorney's Office
- Will County (Mental Health Court)
- Will County Health Department
- Linden Oaks Hospital
- Local Law Enforcement Agencies: Aurora, Lisle, DuPage County Sheriff's Office, Downers Grove, Hinsdale