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Governor Deal Recognizes NAMI Georgia and Announces Enhancement and Expansion of Georgia CIT

In a public event on Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal recognized NAMI Georgia and Georgia CIT  and announced a law enforcement reform package that includes a multi-phase overhaul of officer training and certification courses. Section 2 of the reform package includes enhanced resources for Georgia CIT and a provision that will increase availability of the training to law enforcement officers. Excerpts from the announcement:

“We ask our law enforcement personnel of all levels and ranks to do a very difficult job, one that requires great skill, long suffering, and dedication of purpose. These brave and caring  men and women that are all around us today go out each shift to face uncertainty and danger so that their neighbors may not have to. And while their jobs have only become more difficult and dangerous year after year, the thanks they receive has not kept pace. We have seen in cities across the country the need to foster and strengthen the ties and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Because protecting citizens – both those who do not wear a badge and those who do – is “the paramount duty of government,” it is incumbent upon us to provide the training and resources that they need to be the many things that beloved commentator Paul Harvey said those in law enforcement are asked to be: “a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.” And so today, I am introducing a law enforcement reform proposal consisting of two parts.”

“The second component of this proposal involves an overhaul of how we train both state and local authorities who have the power to make arrests, providing the tools needed to build relationships within their respective communities. Earlier this year, my office worked with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center to evaluate the training all POST-certified law enforcement undergo in our state. Today, we will share with you the ways in which we will improve the quality and depth of that training in the coming weeks, months and years through three phases.”

Phase 2: Streamlining Services, Increasing Access:

  • Moving CIT to Georgia Public Safety Training Center, allowing for local access to the program from Police Departments and Sheriff’s Offices. [N.B. Will require additional resources and state funding to meet increased demand once the transfer has occurred].

“Phase 2 involves the expansion and enhancement of Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement.”

“To give Georgia’s civilians a little background, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the Georgia Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, developed the Crisis Intervention Training program in 2004. This program, which is standardized across the country, is designed to equip officers with the knowledge and skills to approach crises involving individuals with mental disorders.

“Since its inception, the GBI has trained roughly 9,500 of its officers in this 40-hour, 5-day program. As you know, addressing how law enforcement approach dangerous situations with those suffering from mental health problems is a topic of growing national concern, and those on the local level are increasingly requesting such training. For that reason, we will transfer this program to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center so that it can be available to the almost 57,000 sworn state and local law enforcement officers in our state.”

Read the Full Text of the Announcement.

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