Memphis, Tennessee is credited with the first program started in 1988 and has since become a best practice model. Jurisdictions throughout the nation and other countries have adopted programs based on the Memphis Model.
The Salt Lake City Police Department, along with state and local agencies, created a committee in 2000 to evaluate how law enforcement throughout the country dealt with mental health issues. The Memphis CIT Program was identified and selected as the model.
Two Salt Lake City police officers were sent to Memphis to attend the Memphis Police Department's CIT Academy. These officers returned as CIT Coordinators and worked with the committee to start a statewide program with its first academy being held in April of 2001.
In 2008, CIT International, Inc. was founded with CIT Utah being represented as a founding member on its Board of Directors.
Organizations and agencies that comprised the CIT Utah Committee included the Salt Lake City Police Department, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Utah Chapter, the Veteran's Administration, the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the University Medical Center, Valley Mental Health, and the Salt Lake City Grants Office.
Some of the benefits of the CIT Utah Program include:
- Criminal recidivism by mental health consumers is reduced.
- Dispositions of mental health calls for service are more appropriate.
- Officer injury rates and use of force are reduced.
- Officers are better trained in mental health legal and liability issues.
- Mental health consumers and their family members report having more positive experiences when dealing with a CIT Officer.
In 2009, the Salt Lake City Police Department's CIT Program was evaluated by an outside organization. Their findings were published in two documents. Below is the brief report that includes highlights of the evaluation. The second document is the complete report.
CIT 2009 Program Evaluation Brief.pdf
CIT 2009 Program Evaluation.pdf