Crisis Intervention Press Conference
May 6, 2021
A press conference was held at the York Area Regional Police Department involving various law enforcement agencies, mental health agencies, county courts, county prosecutors, county commissioners and invested partners. This press conference highlighted new programs and initiatives taking place in York County that are addressing individuals who have mental health diagnosis and those that do not.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) has 161 trained officers in York County. Although, that number seems high that is only about 40% of all sworn police officers in the county and an even smaller percentage when you are looking at the overall number of law enforcement professionals that interact with individuals suffering from mental illness.
A new initiative will be providing wristbands for both officers and those individuals who are suffering from mental illness to wear so the officers can readily identify those people and have a better understanding of how to interact and de-escalate interactions with them. These wristbands are voluntary for the individuals to wear, but will provide an immediate identification for the officers.
Co-Responder: A new program will be the co-responder model that is used in other areas within the Commonwealth and throughout the United States. This embeds a mental health professional that will work closely with police departments to identify individuals who come in contact with the police officers and are in need of mental health services and resources.
This program will assist the individual in getting those services and provide the mental health professional the information on who is in need of services through working relationship with the police department.
York Area Regional Police Department and Spring Garden Township Police will be working with one co-responder for both departments.