Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)


Crisis Intervention Team Logo

SLMPD has been training its officers in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) skills since 2004. These skills are vital to our interactions with persons who may benefit from de-escalation and / or need assistance with behavioral health or substance-use needs. The core mission of CIT is to reduce the potential for violence during police interaction involving a person experiencing a behavioral health crisis, would benefit from de-escalation and may also need assistance with behavioral health resources. The idea of CIT is community based and brings law enforcement, mental health professionals, those with lived experience and other community partners together to improve responses to persons experiencing a mental health crisis.

Since 2004, over 900 officers have been trained in the 40-hour week-long class. Here, they receive training on mental illness signs and symptoms, common medication, resources available and tools such as de-escalation.

CIT trained officers work with Community Mental Health Liaisons (CMHL) who conduct follow-ups on those persons officers have interacted with. The CMHLs provide resources and connect them to care.

In February 2021, a new program under CIT began called the Crisis Response Unit (CRU) in cooperation with Behavioral Health Response (BHR). The CRU is comprised of 8 dedicated officers and 8 behavioral health clinicians. They work together responding to calls involving a behavioral health crisis, substance use and trauma to provide resources and connection to care at the time of the incident. BHR and CMHLs will also provide follow-up and connection to care.

Also beginning in February 2021 is the 911 Diversion Program. The 911 Diversion Program takes place at the hub in Communications. Calls received are evaluated to see if it is a behavioral health crisis. Depending upon the level of crisis, calls may be diverted directly to BHR so persons may speak with a mental health professional immediately.

All three enable SLMPD to work as a community partner and assist in providing resources or connection to care.

For questions or assistance, please email: Lt. Sally Panzer.

Links to Services

BJC Behavorial Health

Hopewell Center

Behavioral Health Response (BHR)

BHR Crisis Line - 314-469-6644

St. Patrick's Center

National Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255

NAMI (St. Louis)

NAMI (St. Louis) Helpline
314-962-4670

Email Lt. Sally Panzer

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)