"I guarantee, the next time one of these guys have a call that involves a mental health issue, they will use the information they learned this week," Holman said.
Machese agreed. "This was a great week. That first day of the program, the officers in the room set the tone. They were eager to learn, and I know they will apply the knowledge," he said.
CIT is an internationally renowned model for community policing that has been implemented in communities across the country for decades. With more than two million jail bookings involving a person with a mental health condition each year, the collaboration between law enforcement and the mental health system has never been more important.
Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, West Goshen Police Chief Joseph Gleason and Administrator for Chester County’s Department of Mental Health /Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Gary Entrekin, supported the program and attended the graduation. The program was implemented through a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. A second training session will be held at the end of October.
"This has been very exciting. I'm pleased that so many officers participated in the training,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “Once these graduates start talking to their colleagues and supervisors about the program, I'm confident even more will attend our next CIT."
Chief Gleason, who had four of his officers attend the training, said he was proud of the reception given to the program and instructors, including officer Holman.
“The Mental Health First Aid class was a good set up for the week, and the rest of the information was so well-received,” Gleason said. “We’re proud to be a part of it.”