Local police and first responders completed Crisis Intervention Training this week

Date: January 10, 2018

On Friday, January 12, 2018, local police and other first responders concluded the 15th session of a specialized 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training program. Ferguson Township Police Officer Brian Wakefield completed this week's training.

In December of 2010, Centre County received a grant award to help establish this nationally recognized program in Centre County. CIT's goal is to improve safety for all those involved and to either divert, or lessen, the impact of the criminal justice system on individuals who are experiencing a behavioral, emotional, or medical crisis.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a partnership that includes police, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency communications, mental health agencies, advocates, and correctional facilities. This partnership provides a law enforcement-based crisis invention and de-escalation response to situations involving persons in crisis.

Local attendees include representatives from the Ferguson Township Police Department, Bellefonte Police Department, State College Police Department, Centre County Sheriff's Office, Centre County Correctional Facility, and the Centre County 911 Center.  Also in attendance at this session is a representative from the Centre County Board of Commissioners and the Ferguson Township Manager.

Some of the training program topics include:

  • recognizing and understanding specific signs and symptoms of mental illness;
  • understanding how these effect various segments of the population;
  • understanding the effects and side effects of some medications,
  • and both basic and advanced verbal de-escalation techniques.

Since its inception, Centre County Crisis Intervention has trained 284 first responders, law enforcement officers and other professionals.

For more information, contact Sergeant Ryan L. Hendrick at rhendrick@twp.ferguson.pa.us

News Archive: You'll find an in-depth story about this program in our Fall 2014 Print Newsletter, page 6