Intervening at the entry point: differences in how CIT trained and non-CIT trained officers describe responding to mental health-related calls

Community Ment Health J. 2012 Dec;48(6):746-55. doi: 10.1007/s10597-011-9430-9. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


In response to challenges officers face with mental health-related calls, police departments are implementing specialized response programs like Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). CIT is gaining support for its promise to promote safe, respectful interactions with police and individuals with mental illnesses. This paper outlines the results of a qualitative study investigating the impact of CIT. We found difference in CIT and non-CIT officers' response tactics to mental health-related calls and assessments of danger. CIT officers described a broader understanding of exhibited behaviors and considered more options when deciding the outcomes of calls. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chicago
  • Communication
  • Crisis Intervention / education*
  • Crisis Intervention / methods
  • Emergency Services, Psychiatric / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Law Enforcement
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Mentally Ill Persons / psychology
  • Models, Organizational
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Police / education*
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Qualitative Research
  • Telephone