New CMPD team aims to help de-escelate situations for the mentally ill


Pictured above: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Community Policing Crisis Response Team – Picture courtesy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department


Charlotte, N.C. – (Friday, April 26, 2019) – On Saturday, April 27th, 2019, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Community Policing Crisis Response Team (CPCRT) will begin its first day in the field with the mission to provide a professional response to persons in a behavioral health crisis in the Charlotte community. The team comprises of 14 members who will be available around the clock to provide both responsive and investigative assessments and intervention to those experiencing a mental health crisis.

In 2018, the CMPD responded to approximately 800 calls for service where an officer serving on the Crisis Intervention Team provided services to a member of the Charlotte community experiencing a mental health crisis. Through the course of the year, the CMPD identified additional opportunities it could implement to enhance its efforts in providing an early entry point to provide mental health treatment through intervention, diversion, and with prompt and thorough case follow-up. This program was named the CPCRT, and the CMPD then began working with several partners to finalize plans for the team and launch the program by the end of April, 2019.

It is now the end of April 2019, and the dedicated pursuit of those working toward the inception of the CPCRT has resulted in its fruition. The eight sworn police officers and six master’s-level mental health clinicians were carefully selected to work specifically with members of the Charlotte community experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse disorder. The unit will comprise of six teams, each with a CIT officer and a clinician, to ensure 24/7 availability to the community. When requested, teams will respond to active scenes to prevent unnecessary incarceration and to prevent hospitalization by providing alternative care through referrals, education, and support services to individuals and their families.

The CPCRT does not replace efforts to continue certifying officers as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) members, but rather augments the CMPD’s dedication to providing the best service to every member of the Charlotte community. The CMPD encourages anyone who has a family member experiencing a behavioral health crisis to specifically request a CIT officer. Dispatchers with the Communication Division will ensure one of our over 700 CIT-trained officers respond.

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