Mental Health Crisis Training for Police Varies Across California
The amount and type of mental health intervention training that law enforcement officers in California are offered varies by agency, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
Background on Training
The state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training requires law enforcement officers to obtain at least six hours of mental health training while at the policy academy.
An additional state-certified Crisis Intervention Team training course teaches police officers skills aimed at:
- Reducing incarceration among individuals with mental illnesses;
- Increasing the chance that individuals with mental illnesses will continue treatment after an encounter with law enforcement; and
- Decreasing rates of injury among personnel (O'Neill, "State of Health," KQED, 7/25).
However, few officers have completed the additional 40-hour CIT course (California Healthline, 5/6).
Agencies' Offerings Vary
Meanwhile, agencies across the state differ in the amount and type of additional training they offer, according to "State of Health."
- Orange County offers law enforcement officers a 16-hour modified CIT program;
- Police and sheriff departments in San Diego offer a 24-hour Psychiatric Emergency Response Team training program; and
- A 40-hour CIT program is offered by law enforcement agencies in Monterey, San Francisco and Ventura ("State of Health," KQED, 7/25).