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Crisis Intervention Response for Law Enforcement

In 2017, Act 423 established the operation of Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) in the state of Arkansas to provide communities with an option other than jail when a person experiencing an acute crisis due to a mental illness or other behavioral health condition commits a low-level offense.

Law enforcement is an integral part of this process. There are requirements set forth in Act 423 (2017) that define the critical role law enforcement plays when encountering an individual in the midst of a behavioral health crisis. The Act also establishes mandatory training that each officer should have, along with advanced training that is required for designated agencies.

To help Arkansas law enforcement meet the training requirement, the Criminal Justice Institute is replacing our 7-hour course— Law Enforcement Response to Persons with Behavioral Health Issues ONLINE—with a 9-hour course. This new course, Behavioral Health and Crisis Intervention Response for Law Enforcement ONLINE, is designed to provide a better understanding of people suffering from behavioral health impairments who may come in contact with the law enforcement community.  Keeping officers safety foremost, this course will explore policies, procedures, and protocols for officers to follow while dealing with this difficult issue and identifying concerns of dangerousness.

This course will also provide a better understanding of the provisions in ACT 423 that establishes the formation of Crisis Stabilization Units, Crisis Intervention Teams and training guidelines for law enforcement.  Included are guidelines for officer safety as well as the safety of behaviorally impaired individuals.

For officers who have already taken CJI’s 7-hour course, the Institute has created a supplemental 2-hour course—Crisis Intervention Response for Law Enforcement ONLINE—to ensure that you better understand the provisions in ACT 423, the provisions made in this act concerning the training of law enforcement, the formation of Crisis Intervention Teams, and the establishment of Crisis Stabilization Units. Completion of this course will provide officers with an additional two hours of credit in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).

Other Information about Act 423 can be found on pages 10-11 and 44-55 at http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Acts/Act423.pdf.