PEPPERELL — The Community Outreach Initiative Network (COIN) is pleased to announce that it has been approved for a technical assistance grant from the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office.
The grant will assist COIN with creating a crisis intervention strategic plan to include developing and hosting Crisis Intervention Training for their officers. Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) is a 40 hour in-depth class where select officers will learn strategies to de-escalate crisis situations involving mental health disorders with the goal of helping the individuals in crisis and keeping them out of the criminal justice system.
The COPS Office and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) partnered to form a technical assistance center known as the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC), which distributes the grants.
The CRI-TAC will assign subject matter experts to assist COIN with their regional CIT strategic plan at no cost to COIN or any of the involved towns.
Crisis Intervention Training is localized training that involves providing first responders with the knowledge of local options to assist individuals in crisis, such as local hospital units, treatment centers and other stakeholders.
“I’m looking forward to developing this critical training program, which will provide COIN member departments with a critical resource to address a significant need in our communities,” said Pepperell Police Chief David Scott. “Organizing a CIT training is an enormous task, and we thank the CRI-TAC for assisting us.”
COIN is a 10 town collaborative effort that brings mental health clinicians, counselors and recovery coaches into police departments to assistance individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.
COIN began in 2016 when the police departments in Ayer, Ashby, Boxborough, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Westford first partnered with Family Continuity, the agency that provides the clinicians, counselors and recovery coaches.
The partnership is funded by a grant from the Department of Mental Health.
Besides assisting those who are struggling with mental health and/or substance use disorders with finding treatment or other services, COIN also assists with providing training to the officers in the 10 police departments to help them to identify individuals who may have a mental health or substance use disorder, to understand what these individuals may be experiencing, and how to deal with individuals in crisis. COIN has provided multiple Mental Health First Aid classes for first responders within the 10 towns.
“We are thrilled to have the CRI-TAC’s assistance with this endeavor”, added COIN clinician Sarah Gagne, “This training is something that we have been discussing for a while and we can’t wait to get it started”.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, you can call COIN at 508-488-5072. Someone will call you back within one business day.