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The Crimes of the Mentally Ill: A Creative Response

"What holds the promise for our future is when someone comes along with fresh eyes who can look at a problem from a new perspective, and who then says “what if we tried this?”  

In 1988, in Memphis, Tennessee, just such a person came along. Responding to a series of bad outcomes involving police use of force against people with serious mental illness, then Lt. Sam Cochran developed a new approach, partnering with mental health colleagues to develop the first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).  

Rather than focusing on blaming someone or something for the bad outcome, Lt. Cochran decided to develop a novel approach to policing that has spread across the country.  Now, less than 25 years later, nearly every state has at least one CIT, and there are international conferences focused on this unique approach."


IACP Report: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness

IACP Releases Report: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness

Improving Police Response CoverThis report presents the findings and recommendations from a national summit held by IACP in May 2009 to address the millions of encounters between law enforcement and persons with mental illness in our communities.

COPS Podcast. Maj. Sam Cochran and Dr. Randall Dupont, Univ of Memphis

The Beat Podcast:   November, 2010 – Crisis Intervention Teams & Responding To People With Mental Illness Retired Major Sam Cochran, Memphis PD, and Dr. Randy Dupont share information on how crisis intervention teams can aid community policing efforts. They also explain how they are training law enforcement professionals to deal with people suffering from mental illness.


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CIT: Facts and Benefits

Crisis Intervention Teams - Facts & Benefits

 The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Model was first developed and implemented in 1988 by the Memphis, TN Police Department. The team was developed to address the special challenges to law enforcement posed by persons with mental illness and to better serve the community.  Prior to 1998 the Memphis Police Department were involved in an average of 5 to 6 officer involved shootings per year.


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