The concept of crisis intervention training for police isn’t new, although it remains in the infancy stage for many departments.
That includes the Seneca County sheriff’s office, which hosted CIT training for several agencies earlier this month at the county Law Enforcement Center.
Undersheriff John Cleere said members of the Ontario and Wayne county sheriff’s offices, the Canandaigua, Seneca Falls and Waterloo police departments, and state police were trained. Eighteen officers earned certification.
“The crisis intervention team has been an ongoing project in our county,” Cleere said. “Like other counties, it is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and mental health.”
The sheriff’s office has been working with Margaret Morse, the county’s director of community services/mental health. The first step was training instructors; Cleere and Kaitlyn Laskoski, mental health therapist at the county jail, were certified as CIT instructors in April. Cleere and Laskoski helped the Ontario County sheriff’s office teach the mental health curriculum earlier this year for the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Basic Police Academy.