Police confrontations with mentally ill subjects can quickly turn tragic, as neither side may understand the other. Specially trained crisis intervention teams have spread around the country to prevent deaths, injuries, and unnecessary incarceration.
The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is an innovative police based first responder program that has become nationally known as the “Memphis Model” of pre-arrest jail diversion for those in a mental illness crisis. This program provides law enforcement based crisis intervention training for helping those individuals with mental illness. Involvement in CIT is voluntary and based in the patrol division of the police department. In addition, CIT works in partnership with those in mental health care to provide a system of services that is friendly to the individuals with mental illness, family members, and the police officers. (www.cit.memphis.edu/aboutCIT.php)