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Sheriff John D. Idleburg is pleased to announce the milestone of 99% of our Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies successfully completing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certification training program. This is a significant increase from the 34% of sheriff’s deputies trained when Sheriff Idleburg was sworn-in as sheriff.
Those trained as (CIT) deputies during the week-long certification program received specialized training to help them evaluate various mental health crisis incidents stemming from a variety of mental health conditions including: excited delirium, schizophrenia, substance abuse related disorders, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD. After conducting an initial assessment, sheriff’s deputies then utilize skills they learned to effectively communicate and use de-escalation techniques with those experiencing a crisis.
Those who successfully complete the week-long training course receive a CIT certification and a deep understanding of the law-enforcement response to those in mental crisis. The overall design of the program is based on relationship building and problem-solving capabilities of first responders, mental health professionals, and the community. Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies have utilized their CIT skills numerous times to properly interact with those in mental health crisis and provide the assistance needed, versus the use of force.
Sheriff Idleburg said, “History has taught us that well-trained police officers who listen to and work closely with the community build both trust and credibility. Upon taking office, it was clear we needed to do everything we could to ensure those who interact with the community have top-level training when it comes to mental health. Our Training Division has done a tremendous job getting our staff CIT certified and trained in de-escalation.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office continues to train all employees who interact with the public in CIT. This includes correctional officers, telecommunicators, court security officers, and civilian staff. The sheriff’s office has hosted hundreds of police officers from municipal agencies throughout Lake County in the CIT certification courses.
“CIT certification for law-enforcement is a major priority and we are already looking to the future to see what other innovative and dynamic programs we can implement. My staff is currently researching the feasibility of transitioning our Crisis Outreach and Support Team to a proactive co-responder model. I anticipate being able to release additional information on this program in the weeks to come.” added Sheriff Idleburg.