CPD officers receive crisis intervention training 

COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Police Chief Randy Evans has made it a priority at the department for every officer to receive specialized training to help people experiencing crisis in our community. Toward that end, six more officers received certification in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. 

Through a partnership with the Tennessee chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Cookeville Police Department has hosted three CIT trainings resulting in 22 of its 74 allotted officers being currently certified. 

The CIT program is a collaborative initiative between law enforcement officers and mental health experts to jointly provide support to individuals in crisis or living with mental health disorders and/or developmental disabilities. The focus is on diversion and treatment over arrest and incarceration. 

In addition to CIT training, 48 officers have been certified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).  MHFA is a course that teaches officers how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives officers the skills they need to provide initial help and support to someone who may be suffering from the effects of a substance use disorder, mental illness, or experiencing acute crisis. 

According to Chief Evans, “Hosting both of these training programs represent a significant component of the International Association of Chiefs of Police One Mind Campaign. The program seeks to ensure successful interactions between law enforcement and individuals with mental health conditions.”   

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