Behavioral Health Unit News & Information
Behavioral Health Unit – Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons
The Behavioral Health Unit program is a community effort that involves mental health providers, consumers, and their family members working together to provide the best possible outcomes during a mental health crisis. Our goal is to set a standard of excellence for our officers with respect to treatment of individuals with mental illness. This is done by establishing individual responsibility for each event and overall accountability for the results. A CIT Officer is provided up to date mental health training and the resources to bring a crisis to a successful conclusion. The officers work as part of a specialized team which responds to a crisis at any time and works with our community partners to resolve that crisis in a manner that shows concern for the consumers and their well being.
Why it’s Important
The CIT model encourages communities, families, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to act as a compass for persons with mental illness. An increase in illegal narcotic and alcohol abuse and the “deinstitutionalization” of mentally ill citizens can lead to an increase in homelessness and potential violence, and a consequent increase in involvement by law enforcement.
Traditional police methods, misinformation, and a lack of sensitivity have caused fear and frustration for the mentally ill and their families. As a proactive program, CIT works to prevent tragic situations and find “win-win” solutions for all persons concerned.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Valeo Behavioral Health Care and the Topeka Police Department agree that an immediate response is preferable in a crisis. By offering an immediate, humane and calm approach, CIT officers reduce the likelihood of physical confrontations and enhance better care for our citizens with mental health issues.
Benefits of the Behavioral Health Unit
- CIT is community based. As an innovative program, the CIT model encourages communities, families, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to work together.
- Greater efficiency in obtaining care for persons involved in mental health crisis.
- Reduces recidivism and arrests by diverting individuals with a mental illness to appropriate community mental health providers.
- Enhances officer skills in responding safely and creatively to mental health crisis situations and increases citizen confidence in reporting incidents.
- Increases collaboration and cooperation between criminal justice and mental health systems.
- Responds immediately. CIT trained officers are a part of departments regular patrol division.
- CIT officers reduce likelihood of physical confrontations and personal injury to both the officer and the individual.
- Improves satisfaction from the mentally ill and their family.
Contact the Behavioral Health Unit
Behavioral Health Unit Supervisor
Sgt. Mat Rose
Day Shift CIT Officer
Day Shift Crisis Co-Responder
Evening Shift CIT Officer
Officer Pamela Reeder
2nd Shift Crisis Co-Responder
Evening Shift Crisis Co-Responder
Weekend Shift Crisis Co-Responder
Homeless Outreach Officer
Officer Robert Razo
Behavioral Health Unit