The Salina Police Department sponsored the 40-hour CIT Class. The class was based on the Bureau of Justice Assistance curriculum and was taught by experts in the field from mental health, law enforcement, the judiciary, homelessness, and other community service providers.
Officer Chris Venables, the Department’s CIT Coordinator, had said, “Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) are local initiatives designed to improve the way law enforcement and the community respond to people experiencing mental health crises. They are built on strong partnerships between law enforcement, mental health provider agencies, and individuals and families affected by mental illness. Many cities have successful CIT teams that do great things in the community and get people the services they need. Not all subjects we deal with want help, but there are a lot that do.”
SPD had a pool of CIT officers, and they were expanding their team with freshly trained officers. This program also intersected with the Department’s Co-Responder Program. This program was where Officers and Mental Health Professionals responded together to persons-in-crisis in the field, providing alternatives to police enforcement action and quicker crisis and mental health services.
There were 22 attendees in that class, and another was scheduled for later in the fall. Nine attendees were with SPD, and nine were with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. Community Corrections and CKMHC employees were also in attendance.