Chief of Police
Many police officers that have taken the time to comment to the CIT 40 hour training state that it has been one of the most helpful trainings they have received during their career."Many police officers that have taken the time to comment to the CIT 40 hour training state that it has been one of the most helpful trainings they have received during their career. One Chief of Police reported on his experience in a CIT course: I am very impressed with the CIT course that I have trained everyone in my department. I encourage my peers to send their personnel to this course and I’ll be so bold as to recommend that this be a required course for all who work in law enforcement. The course was well-run and taught by instructors that in my opinion have credibility. Often we are taught by those in the health care profession who may at times speak down to law enforcement or who have no knowledge of law enforcement. This course is different in that the instructors are from both sides of the mental health issue and have current law enforcement experience. Above all, officer safety was not compromised. The instructors made me think and tested my communication skills. The use of professional actors to portray various individuals in crisis provided a realistic feel to the various crisis scenarios that I had to address in this class. The skills learned in this class are…not only applicable to mental health crisis situations, but are also applicable…in domestic violence situations, sexual assault investigations, drunk and disorderly situations, death notifications or dealing with an upset citizen."
Union County Officer
I literally got chills when he told me that and realized, we might just learn more than we realize in CIT class."Hey Sarge, my name is Kenny Matz and I work for the county police in Union. I took CIT with you in the spring. Last night, I had an experience that I will never forget; it moved me so much I felt like I needed to share it with you. A couple weeks ago, while doing my usual building checks, I found a homeless guy sitting behind the welfare office in Elizabeth. The guy is one of the regulars that comes into welfare every day, and is always causing a ruckus. We've almost ended up fighting with him and kicking him out on numerous occasions. I hadn't seen this guy in a while, and the last time I had any interaction with him was prior to my going to CIT. This time, when I found him sitting behind the building at 2 am, I decided to try a different approach, as opposed to being the "big tough cop" I ended up talking with him for about 5 minutes. He explained to me that he got kicked out of the YMCA for 60 days because they caught him using heroin, therefore he had nowhere to go. I explained to him that he wasn't allowed to hang out behind the building, but he could stay for a little while until he was ready to move on. I asked him if he was ok or needed anything, he said yes, and that was that, I went on my way. I didn't see him again until last night. He flagged me down after a car stop and started telling me that he checked himself into the psych ER and it turns out he had be schizophrenic all along, but never knew it. Once they got him on the proper meds, he was able to join a rehab facility to stop taking the heroin he'd been doing to deal with the voices. He'd also begun working odd jobs, and was looking forward to being allowed back into his assisted housing in the next few days. All that was good to hear from him, and he actually looked healthier, but this is the part that literally had me at a loss for words. He asked me if I remembered finding him behind the welfare building, so I told him I did. He then told me; the night I found him there he was at his lowest point and feeling extremely depressed. He had gathered a rope from somewhere and decided to go behind the welfare building and hang himself from the parking deck railing. When he was sitting gathering up his courage to finally do it, I happened to pull into the parking area. He said, just the way I talked to him like he was a normal person, and didn't yell at him or try to act tough with him made him realize that maybe he didn't have to end it all. After I left him there, we walked across town to the ER and checked himself in! I literally got chills when he told me that and realized, we might just learn more than we realize in CIT class. If I had found him sitting back there before going to the class, I may have handled myself differently while dealing with him, and who knows how that could have turned out. Anyway, that's my story; it just hit me so deeply that I thought you guys might appreciate hearing it. Thanks for the valuable tools in the toolbox, Kenny Matz"
Camden County Officer
"I can tell you whole-heartedly, had it been eight weeks ago before the training and tasers, she would be dead," said Camden County Metro Sergeant."Camden County Metro Police received new training – Crisis Intervention Training and new equipment -- tasers with attached cameras -- nine weeks ago. An officer used this training and the weapon for the first time on a knife-wielding woman who nearly slashed him and his fellow cops with a 12-inch blade. "I can tell you whole-heartedly, had it been eight weeks ago before the training and tasers, she would be dead," said the Camden County Metro Sergeant. A 56-year-old woman was outside a home in Camden, was threatening people with a large knife, according to officials. A neighbor called 911 and when police arrived on the scene the suspect dashed inside a nearby house, according to reports. Police began searching the home, working their way to the second floor, where the woman was hiding behind a shower curtain. Officers tried to talk the woman out however; she jumped out and lunged at the officers with the knife. The dangerous situation forced the Camden Metro Sergeant to make a split-second decision: should he use deadly force or reach for his newly issued taser? Due to his training he was able to slow things down and think things through and use the taser. The Sergeant stated "Just because we can take somebody's life," he said, "doesn't mean we have to." Charges have not been filed against the woman, who had a history of mental behavioral issues. She is now undergoing a health evaluation so she can get the proper treatment. The Sergeant also stated "It makes me feel better knowing I don't have to go from zero to 60 and take somebody’s life if I have alternative means.”
US Postal Inspector
" His mother called me two days ago to express her appreciation for returning the son she knew back to her.""I returned back from CIT training and contacted the Mobile Crisis Unit in Nassau County, who assisted me in having a Paranoid Schizophrenic customer committed. Working with his mother and the Social Worker at the hospital, it was decided he would be receiving monthly injections through the AOT program following his discharge. His mother called me two days ago to express her appreciation for returning the son she knew back to her. She said he will remain in the hospital for another couple of months before he is discharged. I just wanted CIT to be aware of another success story. Also, I was so impressed with the training that I provided your contact information to a Mental Health worker who is in contact with a Professor at John Jay College in Manhattan. They were attempting to develop a similar training here in NY and I told them how great your training is. Again thank you for your help and providing this training. US Postal Inspector Danita Pachomski"