The North Aurora Police Department has established a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which is comprised of officers who have received specialized training to improve responses to people that are mentally challenged, have special needs, or who are in crisis. The team members will take a primary role in responding to calls that involve persons in a crisis situation.
These officers have each received 40 hours of intensive CIT training through the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) on recognizing and addressing individuals in the community who have a mental illness, special needs, or behavioral disability, which will allow them to better assist community members through de-escalation of crisis situations, referrals to counselling agencies or medical providers, and improved communication.
The national CIT training curriculum was developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the University of Memphis CIT Center, CIT International, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. According to NAMI, CIT “teaches a new set of skills . . . the words, approach and body language that convince a person to get help, or defuse a potentially violent encounter.”
The North Aurora Police Department Crisis Intervention Team aims to provide improved services for the mentally challenged & special needs communities by learning about them – for instance, what upsets them, what calms them down, what to say, and what not to say – and providing this information to officers responding to a crisis so that they can use it to de-escalate the situation safely for all involved.
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, or has special needs please contact the North Aurora Police Department at (630) 897-8705 and ask to speak with a CIT officer so they may further explain the services that the team can provide.