Local law enforcement form Crisis Intervention Teams - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Local law enforcement form Crisis Intervention Teams

Posted:
Brian Hooley of the La Grange Police Department wears his Crisis Intervention Team badge. Brian Hooley of the La Grange Police Department wears his Crisis Intervention Team badge.
Officers from the Hannibal Police Department are set to take part in Crisis Intervention Team training. Officers from the Hannibal Police Department are set to take part in Crisis Intervention Team training.
Missouri Crisis Intervention Team Council is a state collaboration of law enforcement and community partners. Missouri Crisis Intervention Team Council is a state collaboration of law enforcement and community partners.
Officer Brian Hooley talks with WGEM's Kaylee Pfeiferling about CIT Training and what it means for the community. Officer Brian Hooley talks with WGEM's Kaylee Pfeiferling about CIT Training and what it means for the community.
Police are often the first to be called for a crisis situation involving a person with a behavioral health concern. Police are often the first to be called for a crisis situation involving a person with a behavioral health concern.
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Police officers are usually the first on the scene of a crisis situation involving someone with a behavioral health concern. That's why officers throughout Missouri will undergo 40 hours of CIT training next month. 

"You know sometimes there's a stigma with mental health and people don't want to tell an officer 'I have schizophrenia. I have bi-polar,' " said Jessica Baker, co-chair of Saints Avenue Regional CIT. "It's really trying to minimize a lot of the stereotypes that go along with mental health and substance abuse problems."

Baker says the Crisis Intervention Team is especially important in this area because there are a lot of small town departments with only one or two officers on the streets at a time. 

"What CIT will allow them to do is be more efficient when helping someone," said Baker. "They'll know exactly what resources to connect them with and that will allow them to get back to the street quicker."

Brian Hooley is an officer with the La Grange Police Department. He went through the Crisis Intervention Team training last year and said he's already used his training countless times while out on the streets. 

"It's absolutely opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of individuals in crisis," said Hooley. "You just can't go out and use force at any given time. You also need to understand what the individual is going through."

More times than not, people in a behavioral health crisis are put behind bars or back on the streets without ever receiving the counseling and treatment they need. 

"They want help just as much as you want to give them help," said Hooley.

Powered by Frankly