By TOM HARALDSEN
Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams was presented with the CIT International 2017 Police Chief of the Year Award at the national Crisis Intervention Team convention held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida last week.
In the presentation, Adams was lauded for being “a role model in his field with his progressive and forward-thinking approach. The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health recognizes and appreciates his dedication to mental health issues and willingness to support mental health efforts across the state. He has been an excellent community partner, working with key stakeholders to improve the lives of mental health consumers and individuals experiencing crisis.”
The Crisis Intervention Team program used worldwide to develop and sustain partnerships between criminal justice services, behavioral healthcare services, and community members. These partnerships provide three basic services: the training of law enforcement officers and other first responders in proper methods of crisis response and resolution; developing effective crisis response systems; and advocating for behavioral health services and programing.
Organizers said in a release that “one component of an effective crisis response system includes a community’s access to a cadre of specially trained law enforcement officers certified and recognized by the State of Utah as CIT Officers. The CIT Utah program is not only capable of training every officer in de-escalation skills to address highly emotional situations regardless of its cause, but in addition, is the only certifying program recognized by a Concurrent Resolution of the Utah Legislature and the Governor that provides CIT Certification to law enforcement officers in the State of Utah.”
The state’s CIT program is funded through the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, as well as private donations. The program is administered by a contract awarded to CIT Utah, Inc., a nonprofit corporation established specifically for this purpose.
“In addition to his strong support and dedication to the philosophy of CIT, he has worked diligently over the past couple years in cooperation with Iron County Attorney’s office to implement their first Mental Health Court which is now fully functioning, helping individuals with mental illness stay out of jail and in treatment,” the award presentation reads. “He has proven that it is his desire to work in a collaborative partnership in a united effort to sustain and improve upon Utah’s efforts in Crisis Intervention Team training.”