The Crisis Intervention Team program is designed to bring together both the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department and the Meridian Police Department, hospital emergency departments, and mental health providers with people suffering from mental illness.
“So, we were the first in the state to have a very comprehensive program where officers have the ability and the training to deal with individuals who are in a crisis. Most of the time we’re able to de-escalate those situations, whatever’s going on, the reason for the call. About roughly 65% of the time on scene, we’re able to handle it there.” -Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun, LCSD
Of the 10% or so crisis situations that cannot be handled on scene, the goal is to get the person evaluated, stabilized within a few days, and get them on medication or adjust it, then get them back out in society while still being taken care of by the community health providers according to what that specific person needs.
“The individuals that I’ve worked with that have encountered the CIT officer and they’re ultimately transported to Region 10"s CSU or Alliance or one of the other facilities. They tend to do better. They’re getting their needs met sooner rather than later.” Dr. Lin Hogan, Weems Community Mental Health Center
“For us in our community, we think CIT has been a valuable asset for those of us in law enforcement to at least make an effort to get individuals help. -Calhoun