The CIT Challenge
3.5 Million Americans have severe mental illnesses and fewer than 50% receive even minimally adequate treatment. How many of these under-served people are in your community and how much patrol time do they require?
Policing has the unenviable reality of being, in many situations, the last intervention option available. When other "crisis intervention professionals" are unable to effectively deal with an escalating situation, they have the option of withdrawing and calling for assistance.
The police do not have the alternative of dialing 911 when situations intensify. The police are required to respond in circumstances where no other professional will attend. The officer is expected to have the ability to effectively communicate, counsel, mediate, advise, empathize, protect, and console. The officer is expected to be intelligent and have the physical capacity and willingness to forcibly intervene without malice. The police are expected to calmly and compassionately render assistance to the public while at the same time instilling fear into the criminal element of society.
This may seem an impossible endeavor; but to make the task even more daunting, the police officer is asked to perform these feats several times each day without complaint and many times without thanks.