The Crisis Intervention Team
Annual Celebration Banquet
FEATURING AN AWARDS CEREMONY &
GUEST SPEAKER, KEVIN BRIGGS
Sergeant Briggs is a veteran of the United States Army and a retired California Highway Patrol Officer who was assigned to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco for over twenty-three years. While on patrol, he encountered hundreds of individuals clinging to life by a thread, who had lost hope and could see no way out. Kevin talks about the lives saved and the lives lost. He also offers inspiring insight about the impact this work has had on his own mental health as a member of law enforcement. As he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "I've talked to people from ten minutes to seven hours. I very much despise losing. I do whatever I can to get that person back over the rail. I play to win."
About CIT: The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is 40 hours of specialized training for uniformed patrol, law and correctional officers, as well as EMS, emergency room staff, and other first responders. Now in its 27th year nationwide, CIT is one of the nation’s pre-eminent jail diversion and referral programs. The training provides participants with valuable information about mental illness, treatment & support systems in Maine and de-escalation dynamics. The skills learned during these five days serve to better assist an individual during a mental health crisis.
Using CIT skills is proven to reduce use of force and restraints, resulting in less officer and subject injuries and ultimately improving the safety of officers, consumers, family members, and the general public. During the training, attendees spend a full-day visiting various local mental health facilities so that the officers and individuals living with mental illness can interact one-on-one or in a large group discussion. Personal testimonies from family members, individuals, and other officers help to humanize the illnesses and validate the need for a person-first response.
NAMI Maine was the first state in New England to have staff trained to coordinate the Crisis Intervention Team Training model (CIT). Having secured a variety of federal and state funding over the last twelve years, NAMI Maine has provided CIT to law enforcement all across the state. Additionally, NAMI Maine received an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for developing a correctional CIT model. NAMI Maine continues to provide at least ten 40-hour long CIT training weeks to build the skills of law enforcement to interact with mental health professionals. We are the only entity offering the CIT model in the State of Maine.