AND INTERVENTION TRAINING (CRIT)
The Crisis Response and Intervention Training (CRIT) is a 40-hour training program designed to prepare police officers in their response to people experiencing crises related to behavioral health conditions (including mental health conditions and substance use disorders) and intellectual and developmental disabilities. This training is based upon the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and is designed to complement the development and delivery of crisis response programs planned by law enforcement agencies, behavioral health services providers, and disability service providers in the community.
CRIT’s overall philosophy is officer safety, public safety, and diversion from the criminal justice system when possible. The goals of the curriculum include:
Expanding officers’ knowledge of mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities;
Creating connections with people with lived experience;
Enhancing officers’ awareness of community services;
Emphasizing the de-escalation of crisis situations; and
Supporting officer safety and wellness.
The Crisis Response and Intervention Training is a 40-hour training program that includes 18 modules of varying lengths and learning styles. These modules focus on topical areas such as behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities, community engagement and resources, systems and legal considerations, and scenario-based skills.
The matrix for the Crisis Response and Intervention Training is displayed below.
Development of CRIT
To inform the development of CRIT, the Academic Training Initiative brought together subject matter experts in law enforcement, behavioral health, disabilities, curriculum development, and evaluation. The final training content draws upon many different resources, including national statistics, research findings, and best practices for crisis response.
CRIT was piloted in four law enforcement agencies in 2022: the Corvallis (OR) Police Department, the Rapid City (SD) Police Department, the Pittsburgh (PA) Bureau of Police, and the Shreveport (LA) Police Department. The curriculum was revised based on lessons learned from these pilot deliveries, including feedback from both training participants and local trainers.
We want to thank the law enforcement agencies who participated in the pilot CRIT delivery, providing opportunities for the Academic Training Initiative team to learn from officers and local trainers and enhance the curriculum.
Corvallis Police Department
Shreveport Police Department
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Rapid City Police Department
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Crisis Response and Intervention Training (CRIT) and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training?
CRIT is designed to prepare law enforcement officers to respond safely and effectively to people with behavioral health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities who experience crises in their community. CRIT is based on the Memphis Model of CIT Training. Like CIT Training, CRIT is a week-long (40-hour) curriculum that covers topics related to mental health, substance use, and effective responses to people who experience mental health or substance use-related crises in the community.
CRIT reflects extensions to the CIT Training model by incorporating information on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and effective responses to people with IDD. Additionally, CRIT is designed to support law enforcement agencies in their implementation of many different crisis response models in their community—which may include, but are not limited to, Crisis Intervention Teams.
What resources are available in the CRIT toolkit?
The CRIT toolkit includes resources needed to support the coordination and delivery of the training in a law enforcement agency. These materials include:
Evaluation materials, including Pre-Training and Post-Training Surveys and a Role Play Feedback Observation List
Trainer materials and resources, including handouts and activity instructions
PowerPoint presentations for each module
What support is available to assist in the planning and implementation of CRIT in my agency?
The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) provides no-cost training and technical assistance (TTA) on a wide variety of criminal justice topics to improve the knowledge and skills of criminal justice professionals. Agencies interested in receiving TTA can submit a TTA request through an online application.
The BJA also offers funding through a variety of different sponsored programs. BJA’s website provides a list of available funding opportunities for law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies each year, such as the Collaborative Crisis Response and Intervention Training Program and Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Program.
Who is the target audience for CRIT and how many participants can attend the training?
This course is designed for frontline law enforcement officers within agencies that have not yet trained their officers in enhanced crisis intervention, as well as for agencies that would like to update or refine their training strategies. We recommend the number of training participants be limited to 25–30 participants per class as this course requires a high degree of interaction, including scenario-based skills training.
Who should be the instructors for CRIT?
CRIT is designed as a co-trainer model in which a lead law enforcement instructor and a lead behavioral health instructor or intellectual and developmental disabilities instructor (depending on the content) present the information. Each module provides specific recommendations for instructors to provide the most effective presentation of the content.
Recommended instructors for different modules include:
Subject matter experts in mental health, substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, veterans, homelessness, trauma, and other covered topics;
Law enforcement officers with experience in crisis response;
Local attorney with knowledge and understanding of federal, state, and local disability rights laws; and
People with lived experience with behavioral health conditions and IDD.
It is also recommended to have a law enforcement crisis response coordinator or other crisis response-trained officer present during the full week of training. This person can help to answer questions and reinforce the training material when participants ask how the content relates to their work.