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APD CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM (CIT) 

Established in 2001

The Crisis Intervention Team was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988 after an incident in 1987 where Memphis police fatally shot a mentally ill man who was wielding a knife and inflicting injuries to himself. Members of the Alaska CIT are volunteer patrol officers, dispatchers, and supervisors, who, in addition to responding to other calls for service, also respond to calls involving the mentally ill (AKA “consumers”).  The idea is an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO CRISIS, and since patrol officers are already responding to crisis or emergency calls, it makes sense to educate them with such valuable information as de-escalation techniques, active listening skills, and mental illnesses. The Crisis Intervention Team recognizes that mental illness requires a specialized response to those with special needs and who deserve specialized care.  It is a community based partnership between consumers, law enforcement, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and mental health providers.  All have joined together to recognize the COMMON goals of safety, service, and understanding.

 

BENEFITS OF THE CIT PROGRAM

Consumers and their families receive an immediate response to crisis by officers who are educated in mental illness and de-escalation techniques.  Consumers are identified by officers and provided appropriate mental health care.  Mental health professionals voluntarily provide expert instruction to officers during an intensive 40 hour training in which officers are educated about mental illnesses, medications, suicide and crisis intervention, active listening skills, de-escalation techniques, empathy, and respect. The officers also participate in extensive role playing exercises which illustrate these principles. CIT is not a panacea for all police problems involving the mentally ill.  It is a humane and calm approach to assisting people with a mental illness.  The goal is to reduce violent physical confrontations and provide better patient care.

 

HOW CIT WORKS

Often people in the community, such as family members, case workers, and medical staff who know about CIT will call dispatch and request a CIT officer.  The calls involving the mentally ill in crisis are then filtered from dispatch to CIT officers who are on-duty working as patrol. Sometimes another officer will request a CIT officer’s assistance. There is no call out status for CIT officers.

 

APD CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM MEMBERS

Adolf, R

Davies, S

Jackson, J. D

Moulton, K

Singh, S

Alexander, C

Dojaque-Fernandez, R.

Johnston, K

Musgrave, C

Stafford, B

Anderson, A

Dokken, J

Jones, A

Nolder, J

Street, R

Anderson, E

Dunn, S

Jones, M

Oldham, C

Sutcliffe, T

Asselin, G

Dunn, T

Jurik, A

Otts, B

Symonds, K

Bakken, M

Dupuis, J

Kalnoski, K

Palmatier, K

Tanaka, C

Block,  Robert

Fierro, K

Kendall, A

Patzke, M

Thomas, C

Breiner, J

Fifer, D

Koch, D

Pefley, K

Tidler, R

Brown, S

Fuchs, B

Korell, G

Peltier, J

Tidwell, M

Bucher, M

Fisher, A

Leary, K

Peltier, M

Torres, L

Buchta, K

Fortunato, M

Lewis, I

Pendley, M

Trujillo, K

Burington, G

Fraize, A

Lindberg, J

Pfanmiller, K

Turner, A

Bushue, K

Fraize, M

Lund, R

Pierce, J

Von Kirchmeyer, M.

Cameron, W

Gavitt, K

Mahlatini, S

Poths, G

Wells, M

Campbell, S

Geary, K

Martin, P

Price, N

Williams, J

Carroll, J

Gilbert, P

McCauley, T

Reynolds, R

Wilson, B

Chapman, S

Goss, K

Meier, A

Richardson, B

Winborg, G

Clark, B

Greybear, L

Meisenheimer, L

Roberts, S

Winborg, C

Couturier, M

Grigg, C

Mercer, K

Ruthruff, S

Witte, T

Creed, J

Grimshaw, A

Miller, B

Sargent, R

Yoon, B

Cross, B

Hadley, J

Long-Mingo, K

Schaeffer, C

 

Cross, J

Henikman, R

Mitchell, N

Semerad, M

81 officers

Daniel, E

Huston, K

Morrone, J

Shackelford, W

31 dispatchers

                                  Graduates of the 12th CIT Academy

Click here for additional Mental Health Resources

APD Congratulates CIT Academy Graduates

On June 7th, 2013, the Anchorage Police Department congratulated 23 recent graduates of the 12th Crisis Intervention Team Academy.  The graduates participated in a week long course, covering a variety of subjects ranging from identifying mental illness to crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.  A ceremony was held on June 7th, 2013 to recognize the graduates' acheivement.

"I challenge you to serve the community with the compassion I saw from this group this week," said CIT Program Coordinator, Officer Wendi Shackelford at the graduation ceremony.

The latest academy included participants from a variety of public safety and social service agencies statewide.  This training will help the latest graduates in their professions when responding to events involving the mentally ill.

"I was surprised to learn that sometimes in these situations I am the caller's last resort," said Myra Lanthier, a Dispatch for the Palmer Police Department.  "I thought maybe they had a better option for reaching out to someone, but I learned in this training that sometimes we are the only option."

The CIT Academy is sponsored by the Alaska Mental health Trust Aughority in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Anchorage.