SF Police to Train Crisis Team for Mentally Ill – The Bay Citizen

SF Police to Train Crisis Team for Mentally Ill – The Bay Citizen

San Francisco Police


In the current COIN environment, Marines and Army soldiers find themselves involved in the everyday crises—some big, some small— of the local populations in their areas of operation. While the warfighters have become increasingly focused on winning hearts and minds the nitty gritty “how-to” of managing oneself in the pressure cooker of interpersonal crises and conflicts is something that is frequently forgotten. The military is not alone in struggling with how to use its armed forces to engage with those in crises. SFPD, like many other police departments has shared in this struggle and has recently decided to initiate its own Crisis Intervention Team system. Based on the model developed my the Memphis PD, in response to several deadly-force encounters with the mentally ill, SFPD will be training 25% of its police officers in the skills and tactics needed to manage the mentally ill. It is worth speculating as to the outcome of giving CIT training to 25% of the Marines engaged in stability operations. While COIN may not present warfighters with many obvious cases of mental health crisis, no doubt the training in interpersonal skills management, less lethal force, conflict de-escalation, etc. would come in handy during many different types of volatile conflicts.

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