CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Laurel Highlands Region Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) has provided crisis training to more than 300 law enforcement members since 2007. Now, the CIT is hoping to fundraise $50,000 to reach more individuals.
CIT gives first responders the tools they need to de-escalate situations in a safe and empathetic manner. In the program, first responders are encouraged to focus on recognition and understanding of symptoms of mental illness when in high-stress situations.
“We see over and over again how the police have utilized their de-escalation skills in very impactful ways that have reduced injuries for our clients, the public, and for police officers themselves,” Lauren Highlands CIT Mental Health Coordinator, Tom Bender said, in a press release.
Partnering with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA), the CIT launched a fundraising drive and letter campaign to remind people of the importance of supporting law enforcement when they work with the public.
CIT offers 40-hour training sessions to improve outcomes for those who need police in emergency situations and also to assist police officers in facing uncertain or difficult situations.
“Once you learn CIT, you use it on every call you go on,” Johnstown Police Captain Chad Miller said, in a press release.
In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, those willing to make a tax-deductible donation to the Lauren Highland CIT can do so on their website.
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