CIT is a dynamic collaboration of professionals that are committed to those with mental illnesses and other brain disorders. This program is successful because of its strong partnership of volunteers that include law enforcement and corrections officers, mental health professionals, advocates, consumers, and family members. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, individuals who have an identified brain disorder constitute the single most persecuted and least understood group of people in Georgia. Trained CIT law enforcement officers who are experienced in community policing and possess effective problem-solving skills will be prepared to assist this population. These officers use compassion, respect, listening skills, and knowledge of the crisis intervention stages in order to de-escalate a crisis situation.
"We will ensure that law enforcement officers in Paulding County are providing a consistently high level of service to all community members, and afford those who suffer with brain disorders the same rights, dignity, and access to police and other community services that are provided to all citizens," said Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge, adding that the newly trained CIT law enforcement officers will add to the existing number of trained CIT officers already in place.
He also pointed out a few of the positive outcomes expected from this type of training:
* Decreased number of people with mental illness incarcerated;
* Decreased officer and consumer injuries;
* Officers become advocates for the mentally ill;
* Mentally ill patients and their families are more willing to call police for help.
CIT is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Mental Health, Development Disabilities and Addictive Diseases, Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Georgia Sheriffs' Association Inc., and Georgia Public Safety Training Center.