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.
To read recent 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
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.
A 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:
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.
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.
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:
Community Organizer, Community Access
(212) 780-1400, ext. 7726
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>>)