Abstract
Purpose of the article American university and college campus law enforcement, like their peers in American munipal law enforcement agencies, find themselves interacting frequently with civilians experiencing mental health disturbances. An innovative model for law enforcement, the Crisis Intervention Team model, has been developed to address the difficulties law enforcement professionals and civilians in mental health crisis face during encounters. This article explores how CIT can enhance police response to mental health crisis on the college campus. Methodology/methods Methods of applied research were conducted, borrowing from a benchmarking model and including interviews with multiple key informants representing law enforcement and mental health. Informants were affiliated with three universities and multiple municipal jurisdictions in Virginia, USA. Scientific goal The goal was to assess the relevance of CIT on the college campus and explore creative approaches to enhancing campus police response to mental health crisis. Findings The results supported the scholarly literature regarding the efficacy of the CIT model. Creative adaptations to the CIT model for campus possibly can be implemented to address concerns of mental health crisis on campus. Conclusions CIT is a highly innovative model requiring extensive collaboration between law enforcement, mental health agencies, and mental health advocates. As standard qualitative research was not conducted, the sample size of key informants may not have reached saturation. However, findings from the interviews support the body of literature on CIT. The implementation of CIT on the college campus could possibly help to alleviate difficulties on campus arising from mental health crisis, including reducing inappropriate arrest or disciplinary action, improving campus safety, addressing concerns related to threat assessment and management, and enhancing collaborative efforts on campus and with resources in the broader community.
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DOI 10.2478/cks-2014-0001
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