JFS Helps Train Law Enforcement

Posted on November 22, 2017

For decades Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been working to assist local law enforcement when interacting with consumers. The agency has been conducting law enforcement trainings for more than 10 years. Recently, the agency participated in the training of more than 600 law enforcement offers in Atlantic County. In partnership with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office (ACPO), this training is entitled “Law Enforcement Response to Individuals with Special Needs/Mental Health Issues”. This curriculum was developed in collaboration with ACPO and the Mental Health Association and covers education on disorders, including symptoms, impact on individual and family, de-escalation techniques and local resources.

In addition to the facts/stats that are covered during the training, JFS is able to provide insight into how the mental health system and legal system often interact/collide. With more than 30 program areas, including many in mental health and the jail/justice system, JFS staff have the knowledge and experience to provide this specialized training.

Rita King, Associate Director of Justice Involved Services at JFS, introduced this training to Atlantic County. During the training she offers insight into a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training that she completed. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a nationally acclaimed best practice jail diversion model originally developed by the Memphis Police Department in Tennessee. New Jersey’s CIT program is a county based collaboration of professionals committed to improving the county’s law enforcement system and the mental health system’s response to persons experiencing a psychiatric crisis who come into contact with law enforcement first responders.

JFS is scheduled to participate in six more trainings during the remainder of 2017, which will train more than 100 officers. Continued trainings are anticipated for 2018.