Cleveland police officers get training
to interact with people with mental illness

(Plain Press, August 2004) One First District police officer and three Second District police officers were among eighteen Cleveland Police Officers to participate in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training Program to learn how to be better equipped to interact with people with mental illness. The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board (CCCMHB), in collaboration with the Cleveland Division of Police, offered the program. Officers completed the week-long training and became members of Cleveland ’s first CIT on July 2, 2004 .

Communication and de-escalation techniques, uses and effects of psychotropic medication, serious emotional disturbances in children, dual-diagnosis of mental illness and alcohol and drug addiction, alternatives to jail, and role playing exercises and site visits, are all part of the 40-hour classroom and hands-on CIT training. The training, offered free of charge by the CCCMHB, is delivered by mental health providers, consumers of mental health services and family members.

William Denihan, CCCMHB’s Chief Executive Officer, says “our goal is to train 25% of the Cleveland patrol force over the next five years by offering two training classes each year.”

Officers receiving CIT training in the First and Second Districts (the area the Plain Press covers) are: First District Officer Shamode Wimberly and Second District Officers Dona Feador, Laura Soeder and Dymphna O’Neill.


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