MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If someone is going through a mental health crisis, you want to make sure someone shows up who can properly handle the situation.
Memphis police chief CJ Davis said her team is working to make that happen.
According to the city of Memphis’ website, MPD has around 268 crisis intervention team officers. These officers have gone through specialized training with mental health advisors to handle complex issues. They offer 24/7 coverage.
“Crisis intervention training is beneficial not just to those individuals that respond to mental consumers, but it’s also beneficial in domestic violence situations and hostage negotiation situations, individuals threatening to commit suicide,” Davis said.
The police chief recently told city council members they want more CIT officers. The plan is to incorporate crisis intervention training into recruit training.
“So by the time our officers graduate from recruit training, they will also be certified in crisis intervention,” Davis said.
Her team also plans to train and expand its TASER program.
“Right now, our crisis intervention training officers use TASERS but TASERS are a very essential part of equipment,” Davis said. “These are times when a crisis intervention training officers isn’t available and the utilization of a TASER is a less lethal option for officers to have.”
The chief said the department also plans to expand its rifle program. She said because there are so many weapons on the street, they need to upgrade their equipment.