Present Day, April 14th, 2018

My daughter is a sophomore at NYU. She also interns (and has interned) with organizations which focus on the rights and advocacy of individuals based on gender, race, and mental health based issues.

Recently, she was researching CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) New York Police Department trained officers. These are police officers specifically trained to assist with situations involving mental illness, development disability or emotionally disturbed peoples. Following are some of the statistics and bullet points from her research. Take them for what they are worth as food for thought and information to ponder in our modern-day struggle to provide quality assistance and help to people struggling with mental health and in crisis situations.

  • In 2016 in NYC there were 157,000 calls involving people in mental crisis.
  • The NYPD cannot guarantee that CIT-trained officers will be deployed to incidents involving people in mental crisis.
  • The NYPD currently handles more than 400 mental health crisis every day.
  • Currently, data collection regarding mental health crisis is fragmented across departments.
  • The NYPD currently trains between 20-25% of officers. This training lasts for 40 hours over a 5 day period.
  • The NYPD does not currently have the capacity to track the special skills of officers. This includes not only CIT but also language skills, domestic violence training, etc.
  • Nationwide, in 2016 police officers shot and killed at least 251 people who had exhibited signs of mental illness.
  • The addition of a CIT coordinator would: consistently connect with the community, serve as a liaison with outside agencies, be available to make training adjustments and assist in conducting data analysis
  • Current NYPD policies call for assigning a “designated shooter”, but do NOT specifically call for de-escalation if possible.
  • The AIDED Card system rewards an NYPD officer by allowing them to document when an individual receives medical treatment but is not arrested. The AIDED Card system is NOT specific to individuals with a mental health crisis. Out of 157,000 crisis calls in 2016, only 19,328 AIDED cards were issued (12%).
  • Currently, just 25% (5,500) of nearly 22,000 patrol officers are CIT trained.
  • NYPD Call dispatchers receive 2 hours of CIT training out of 45 days training (.5%)
  • Even if unarmed, not violent, and willing to leave…ad individual in mental health crisis may be taken into custody.

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