The Amsterdam Police Department is set to receive state-funded training to help road patrol officers recognize and respond to mental health emergencies while on duty. The state-wide Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is an initiative championed by the New York State Senate.
This year’s budget included $925,000 to help police departments statewide train their road patrol officers in mental-health related issues and provide them the knowledge, skills and support necessary to de-escalate situations and divert individuals suffering from mental illness from the criminal justice system when appropriate.
The training program includes a program overview, a systems mapping that will allow each community to assess their crisis response systems and identify potential changes, a week-long training program for officers, in collaboration with local mental health personnel, on how to recognize and respond to mental illness and related disorders, and a one-day mental health refresher course for officers who do not participate in the CIT training.
The City of Amsterdam Police Department expects to have approximately twenty percent of their road patrol trained, at no cost to them.
“The ever-changing face of demands placed on the law enforcement community calls for parallel needs in training to meet those demands. Training on diversion programs for those suffering from mental health issues will benefit officer and those afflicted with mental health related issues,” said Chief of Police Gregory Culick.