Welcome to the online home of Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams (CCIT-NYC). If you’d like to share this website with others, the web address is: http://www.ccitnyc.org.
By Carla Rabinowitz, Project Coordinator
Welcome to the website of Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams in New York City ccit nyc.

Inspector General overseeing NYPD issues report asserting use of force cases of NYPD are not properly disciplined.
Fortunately report echoes CCITNYC’s desire to train more police in de-escalation. With more training of police officers
in Crisis Intervention Team training officers will get the new tools they need to approach mental health recipients
in a new way without the need to use force.
Click here for Inspector General Report

Great photo of first class of NYPD officers that completed the NYPD’s 36 hour training. So far 400 officers have been trained. Police Commissioner Bratton promises another 5,000 to 9,500 will be trained in regions from around the city. Possible Times Square next. There is a lot of work to be done in police mental health community relations, a lot. But let’s applaud these first group of officers who will start to usher in a new kinder police force.
Now we must push for Diversion centers where police can quickly drop off people in distress.
Click here for picture of first round of CIT trained officers

Great article on the wonderful work NYPD is doing in training a portion of officers in Harlem in a full 36 hour CIT program, including peer involvement. Now we must stay vigilant to ensure NYPD trains as many officers as possible in CIT including the cadets.
We also need to let Mayor and city council know that we need drop off centers, diversion centers where police can take people in extreme crisis. Many recipients fear hospitals and police need a quick turn over time or the whole CIT process will not work.
Click here for article on NYPD training.

Mayor announces new hub where police and clinicians will respond to the needs of those who are in shelters or homeless and engage in violent behavior.
This is part of the Mayor’s plan to reduce arrests and imprisonment of those with mental health concerns.
Click here for article on Mayor’s new hub

Another instance where CIT training would have de-escalated a situation. A woman explained her brother who shouted in a theatre lives with mental illness. She pleaded to treat her brother with compassion due to his mental illness. Police responded in the typical command and control approach that just does not work for mental health recipients.

Click here for NY Post article about man who shouted superman in theatre

Police across the nation shoot 462 people in the first 6 months of 2015. More shootings than any year ever. Need for CIT training noted in this article and across the web. Fortunately NYPD is starting to train 5,000 officers in two areas in NYC.
Click here to read about it

Great article in the Washington Post about the increasing numbers of mental health recipients killed in edp encounters with police in 2015. In the first 6 months of 2015, one mental health recipient was killed every 36 hours across this nation in an edp encounter with police. The Washington Post is collecting incidents where mental health recipients have been shot by police. Please go to end of article for email address to send information. If you know of a police shooting of a mental health recipient in nyc please contact ccitnyc at crabinowitz@communityaccess.org
Click here to read the Washington Post article

Starting June 8, NYPD will train their first class of 30 officers for 36 hours on Crisis Intervention, how to de-escalate encounters with people in mental health crisis. The training will run for 4 days at the new police training center. A few of us from CCIT NYC will sit in and observe the training. Wow. What a sea change. Read article below for why this training is so needed. Yet another death occurred in May 2015. This training is too late for the Reyes family, but will help prevent future tragedies, and will give police new tools that they need to avoid injuries in these edp encounters. Let’s hope the officers accept the training.
Click here to read about New Police training in NYPD and another NYPD incident May 2015

Click here to read April 27, 2015 incident highlighting need for Crisis Intervention Team training

The United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to Police encounters
Will the United States mandate CIT training? Click here for Epoch Times Article

Let’s celebrate a big win! Mayor Deblasio issued a report agreeing to spend $130 million for criminal justice reform including creating two assessment centers and training 5,000 to 5,500 officers
How Mayor embraced coalition’s goals

Read how the papers talk about Mayor’s new promise to create police training in NYC
Papers discuss Mayor’s Report
By Carla Rabinowitz, Project Coordinator

Great article in The Nation highlighting the CCIT NYC coalition and the need for a CIT in NYC.
The Nation article click here
To read other articles on the need for CITs and view statements from our last press conference go to Blog page.

To find our list of endorsers, go to Join Our Endorsers page
We are honored to welcome a new endorser, the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, local 1180. Thank you CWA 1180
On behalf of the family of Mohamed Bah, we request your presence at the a memorial vigil on the 2nd year anniversary of his death at the hands of the NYPD.


Our Albany press conference brought immediate results:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s new budget allots $400,000 for a pilot program to train police officers in dealing with the mentally ill.

Mental health advocates proposed the training to help officers assess and de-escalate confrontations when called to incidents involving psychologically troubled people.

The so-called Crisis Intervention Team model is already used in some form by 2,700 jurisdictions nationwide.

It teams police officers with mental health professionals.

The program includes guidance for 911 dispatchers on gathering information on mental health and addiction issues.

It also includes 40 hours of training for patrol officers on topics like maintaining a safety zone while assessing the situation and avoiding the temptation to immediately answer a crisis with force.

CIT Press ReleaseA crucial moment in the Campaign to Launch NYC Crisis Intervention Teams. CLICK + SHARE this press release for further info.

(And view press conference photo album here.)


Senator Parker Video:

Our Aim

CCIT-NYC seeks to improve police responses to 911 calls involving individuals with mental health concerns – often referred to as “Emotionally Disturbed Person” (EDP) calls. (The NYPD gets more than 100,000 EDP calls per year.)

By establishing a new community-police approach to EDP calls, we hope to divert mental health recipients away from the criminal justice system, and thereby avoid traumatic encounters and injuries to police and mental health recipients.

Current State of Affairs

At present, the NYPD are insufficiently prepared to deal effectively with 911 calls involving individuals with mental health concerns – often resulting in traumatizing and sometimes tragic encounters between the police and individuals experiencing emotional distress.

Shereese Francis

In 2012, the family of 30 year-old Shereese Francis called for an ambulance as she was showing signs of emotional distress. When the police arrived on the scene, they chased Shereese around her home, amplifying her distress. Instead of de-escalating the situation, four police officers finally laid on top of Shereese in an attempt to subdue her, and she died.


NYPD police beat Dustin so badly they broke his nose and injured his eyes. The 23 year-old was waiting with police because his family had called for an ambulance when he was in emotional distress. There was no claim he was holding a weapon or being threatening.

Change for the Better

Statistics show that a large percentage of the calls fielded by the NYPD involve a person facing an emotional crisis. By recognizing the challenges and realities of this fact, we can make our streets safer for people with mental illnesses and for the police officers who respond to their calls.

Crisis Intervention Teams are vital to reversing the trend of criminalizing people in crisis and depriving them of the human rights that they deserve. Instead of being incarcerated, people in crisis need treatment, housing, respite, and support in order to recover and live to their potential.

We believe that a successful plan to address issues regarding the policing of people in crisis depends on a multi-part program and the successful cooperation between many different entities: the NYPD and the community; the courts and activists; mental health consumers and healthcare providers.

CCIT-NYC is committed to a citywide approach. Real change will only be achieved when a program is up-and-running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in all five boroughs, and accessible to every New York City resident. Our plan for such change consists of three parts:

1. Community Crisis Intervention Teams

Our proposal calls for a pilot project establishing at least one specially trained Crisis Intervention Team in every borough. These teams would operate out of existing facilities and be ready 24 hours a day to respond to calls involving mental health crisis.

2. Training

Training police officers to respond more effectively to mental health recipients in crisis will result in the successful de-escalation of more EDP calls, and will therefore empower the NYPD to more efficiently deploy their time and resources while maintaining better community relations.

3. Oversight/Development Committee

In a city as large and complicated as New York City, it is imperative that a committee be formed to ensure that consistency is maintained across the precincts, and that best practices are effectively identified and shared. Such a committee would also be responsible for directing and vetting training programs, hiring, and compliance.

The Communities for Crisis Intervention Team will call for a model that works in NYC through the introduction of a NYC Council resolution and NYS legislation. See the Proposals section of this website for more info.

Who We Are

We are a coalition of activists, advocates, and other community and non-profit members working to promote human rights, dignity and safety for people in New York City who come in contact with the NYPD.

How You Can Get Involved

(1) Please join with over 35 organizations calling for a Crisis Intervention Team in NYC. join our campaign. Join Nami Metro NYC, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, Community Access, and others as we advocate for Crisis Intervention Teams in NYC.

For more info, please contact:

Carla Rabinowitz
Community Organizer, Community Access
(212) 780-1400, ext. 7726

Breaking news…

Senator Kevin Parker has just introduced bill number S6365 to create Crisis Intervention Teams in NYC.

Read our blog…

Rexford Dasrath died in a NYC police encounter in November 2013. He was only 22 years old. The death occurred on 902 Hart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Read more>>)

9 Responses to Welcome

  1. This is such important work to do. Thank you.

  2. As a public administrator in a small nonprofit that deals with the collateral damage caused by government mishandling and the lack of social caring for those with mental health issues I support your efforts and all those that seek to change systems that fail to use logic over stupidity. Crisis Intervention Teams are the way to go if government is going to respond and address the needs of this community.
    Unfortunately we cannot send someone at this time to attend and help however we will help spread the word.
    Yours most respectfully,

    Angel Ramos
    CDC Breathing Space Inc.
    URL: http://beathingspaceny.org/

  3. Community Crisis Intervention Mobil Team Is Ideal. Please Keep Me Informed About Training. I Will Advocate And Support This Cause Even If It Means Volunteering My Service.

  4. This resolution will be the beginning of organizing people with a mental diagnosis a voice in America.All groups which are sterotyped have a voice, whether they are not being represented because of their race, religion , or sexual orientation. The mentally ill are only mentioned when an emotionally ill person is confronted by law enforcement and than new gun laws are passed taking away rights from people. We must end jails and prisons being the number one provider of psychiatric beds. We must insist on medication that works and does not cause us diabetis and weight gain and in some cases increase our anxiety and depression. We and our families must step out of the shadows of non-involvement and demand real change.

  5. I think this is a very important mission and as a Criminal Justice Practitioner and Civil Rights Activist I want to support the cause.

  6. The call for Crisis Intervention Teams to work along side the police during confrontations with people with mental disabilities is a strategy whose time has come. I hope the police department views this partnership with mental health experts, medical and social workers, and PEERS (people with psychiatric disabilities who have been trained to assist in crisis intervention) as a means to strengthen their ability to save lives.

  7. Sonia Rivera-Arango

    CITs and the police working together is a winning strategy. It’s working elsewhere and it can work in NYC as well.
    The time for implementation of this strategy is NOW.

  8. The President of the Police benevolent Association refuses to acknowledge my request for an opportunity to fully explain how CCIT would reduce violent confrontations between responding untrained police officers and the families and emotionally disturbed individuals when a call for help is placed with 911. It appears the PBA reaches out to the public when their contracts are being negotiated but fails to respond to requests to improve the system which is intended to protect our love ones.

  9. I know we can do better for the mentally ill. It is outrageous how we criminal ice these people. It is bad enough to be afflicted with mental health problems .

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