Unveiling of the Harford County Crisis Intervention Team - Pilot Program
|EVENT:||Unveiling of the Harford County Crisis Intervention Team – Pilot Program|
|DATE/ TIME:||Thursday, June 12 from 3:15pm to 3:45pm|
|LOCATION:||HEAT Center in Aberdeen|
1201 Technology Drive
Aberdeen, MD 21001
|ACTIVITY:||A multi jurisdictional announcement of a pilot program introducing Harford County’s First Crisis Intervention Team. Agency’s and organizations involved are the Harford County Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, Havre de Grace Police Department, Maryland State Police, Office on Mental Health, Upper Chesapeake Health, Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, and community mental health providers.|
Harford County will be the only county in Maryland bringing together six law enforcement agencies to offer specialized support services to citizens with mental illness. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is comprised of officers from uniformed patrol divisions who have volunteered to participate. These officers maintain their responsibilities as patrol officers, but become primary responders to situations involving a person with mental health illness, or persons experiencing a mental health crisis. A CIT Officer is trained in identifying characteristics of various mental disorders. With a holistic approach, officers of this program are trained to provide specialized interventions for the mental health consumer, the community, and the officers.
Goals for the unit include improving outcomes of police interactions with people who suffer from mental illnesses. Through specialized training, law enforcement officers gain knowledge for responding more safely and compassionately to people with serious mental illness, while improving public safety, reducing officer injuries, and reducing mental health stigma.
When a call involving a person with a mental illness, or a "crisis" call is identified, a CIT member (whenever available) is dispatched. These CIT members are identifiable by a pin on their uniform (image shown above). Crisis Intervention Teams work best when there is community collaboration between law enforcement, the mental health system, mental health consumers, and family advocates working together. Strong partnerships exist in the development and implementation of the Harford County CIT.
|POINT OF CONTACT:||Captain Keith Warner, Harford County Sheriff’s Office|