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Clifton, NJ – Officers responding to a call in the Allwood section around 9 p.m. Monday chased the troubled 16-year-old boy to Jubilee Park, Lt. Robert Bracken said.

The teen was “extremely agitated, and refused to drop a knife which he was carrying with him,” the lieutenant said.

The boy repeatedly stabbed a nearby tree and threatened to cut his wrists, while officers secured the scene and talked to the boy, Bracken said.

Officers eventually convinced the boy to drop the knife after about a half hour, the lieutenant said.

They took him into protective custody and then delivered him to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

There are statistics which most practitioners believe are underwhelming that 7 to 10 percent of police encounters involve someone with a mental health condition. Some believe that it’s closer to 50 or 60 percent.

The City of Clifton Police Department is very aware of the high percentage of police encounters involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis. They have been an active part of the CIT-NJ Center of Excellence Program in Passaic County on regular bases. They continue sending their officers to this specialized training and have also allowed their CIT trained officers to participate as instructors during the program to share their experience.

We commend them for their commitment and awareness while responding to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. “This interaction resulted in no one injured and no complaints filed”, Bracken said.

The CIT-NJ Center of Excellence Program thanks the City of Clifton PD for their commitment to the CIT-NJ program. And thanks everyone involved.