Law enforcement officers offered free crisis intervention training May 5-9 in Dover

April 26, 2014

The Department of Health and Social Services will conduct Crisis Intervention Team Training for law enforcement officers who have a primary focus of patrol responsibilities May 5-9 at Wilmington University in Dover.

This specialized 40-hour training class is being offered by DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to law enforcement officers who often are the first to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The class will prepare first responders to de-escalate crisis situations in order to provide for the safety of officers, the individuals involved and the public. Participants will learn to manage crises and will be provided with resources to help resolve such situations.

“Everyday we know law enforcement officers in Delaware are called to crisis situations,” DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said. “Crisis Intervention Team Training provides them with new tools to assess what might be happening with an individual and the best ways to de-escalate the situation. Plus, hearing directly from people with a serious and persistent mental illness and their families will provide the officers with unique insight.

This Crisis Intervention Team program is modeled after the CIT program in Memphis, Tenn. Across the country and internationally, CIT-trained officers are better equipped to manage health crisis encounters. In addition to classroom presentations in the Delaware training, officers will be offered interactive training opportunities.

Among the training components that officers will receive:

• Introduction to mental illness and psychotropic medications

• Risk assessment in crisis situations

• Verbal de-escalation training, basic negotiations, and active listening skills

• Hearing from people with mental illnesses and their families

• The impact of trauma on cognition, emotions and behavior

• Interactive learning such as experiencing auditory hallucinations

Partners in the training program include the Delaware State Police, Wilmington Police, New Castle County Police, DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Mental Health Association in Delaware, National Alliance on Mental Illness Delaware, Mobile Crisis, the Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Consumer Recovery Coalition, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Developmental Disabilities Council. Funding is provided by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Grant on Trauma-Informed Care.

For questions or more information, contact Dr. Josh Thomas, CIT Project Manager, at or 302-427-0787, Ext. 115.