Today on the Steps of City Hall in NYC, CCIT NYC was joined by members of the New York City Council members, community activists, mental health services providers and others to discuss the need for the NYPD to receive CIT training to be able to handle issue of a person with a mental illness in a manner than is safe for them and the person going through a crisis.
The group CCIT NYC has drafted a NYC Council Resolution on Emotional Disturbed Person Calls and the need for Crisis Intervention Teams it reads,
“WHEREAS, the New York City Police Department is currently the most used intervention for people in crisis in New York City; and
WHEREAS, the New York City Police Department responds to 100,000 crises or so called “Emotional Disturbed Person (EDP)” calls a year; and
WHEREAS, these calls often result in the unwarranted arrest, emotional and physical abuse and death of those in crisis; and
WHEREAS, it is the duty of the New York City Police Department to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment; and
WHEREAS, it is the duty of the Office of the Mayor to protect the safety, welfare, and rights of all New Yorkers;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor should instruct the Police Department to repair damaged relationships with communities and individuals in crisis affected by unwarranted abuse; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor should instruct the Police Department to reduce unwarranted abuse and death by expanding officer and cadet training to include a Crisis Intervention Team training model, currently the national standard in police crisis training; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor should instruct the Police Department to work along aside peer specialist and crisis intervention workers when responding to crisis/EDP calls; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor should instruct the Police Department to appoint a community oversight committee to measure the efficacy of the Crisis Intervention Teams as they are being implemented and to hold precinct commanders accountable for reducing unwarranted arrests, abuse and deaths in their precincts.”
The way we handle people with mental disorders and disabled has come along way from the horror stories of Willowbrook State School, which would later become the College of Staten Island.
I think of the movement that is the Mental Health Movement in New York City, it shows we have come a long way. We haven’t fixed all those problems and we are far from perfect but we do need more oversight for people who can’t always speak for themselves.
CCIT NYC wants to work with the NYPD and local mental health providers to improve police response to crisis situations involving the mentally ill. The goal is to have response to mental health crises be appropriate, so that mental health recipients are not automatically thrown into the criminal justice system, and to reduce possible injury to police and mental health recipients.
I went to this press conference today to show support to the CCIT, because I know what they are capable of and the good they have for the people of New York City. In my opinion the NYPD could do nothing but learn to be better prepared for these situations and possibly save the lives of person in crisis and in need of help.
As people continue to come out in the LGBT community at a younger age, some have faced periods of depression and even attempted suicide. When this happens and 911 is called these training and procedures become important to being able to talk to a person in crisis and not treat them like a criminal (if they are acting out)