Thu May 9th, 2019
The Southern Ute Drum
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) of Southwest Colorado is a program to help law enforcement and the community respond to people experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The program brings together law enforcement, behavioral health providers and individuals and families in our communities.
Since 2003, this CIT training program has been providing police officers with new tools for identifying, preventing and de-escalating crisis situations. By actively practicing and using the new skills learned in this training, CIT officers can successfully manage crisis situations that may threaten both officer and citizens.
Officers participate in 40 hours of classroom training involving education on mental health and substance use disorder signs and symptoms, appropriate medications and side effects, use of verbal de-escalation skills, active listening skills and improved tactical responses. The highlight of the training is 11 hours of role play practice with a specially trained troupe of professional actors who specialize in law enforcement training.
Twenty-five local law enforcement personnel and one Dispatcher from Southwest Colorado recently completed the CIT training in Durango. Of those 26 individuals, two graduates of this training were employees of the Southern Ute Detention Center (SUDC): Priscilla Albo and Ryan Carothers.
Local training facilitator, Mary Trujillo Young, commented she is pleased that SUPD and SUDC support the training for their staff, and all participants challenged themselves and worked to develop new skills. CIT training offers the Law Enforcement community an opportunity to bring awareness and decrease stigma associated with having mental health issues and seeking help. In addition, CIT training is provided at an opportune time, as May is Mental Health Month.
For more information, contact the following providers at the Southern Ute Health Center Behavioral Health Division, (970) 563-4581 – Mary Trujillo Young, Jennifer GoodTracks, and Ryan Sullivan