Crisis Response Team

The Crisis Response Team deploys in a co-responder model, partnering Mental Health Professionals (MHP's) with specially trained Officers.  The Crisis Response Team focuses on taking a holistic approach to law enforcement encounters with persons experiencing behavioral health issues.  Whether responding to in-progress calls or conducting follow up, the goal of the Crisis Response Unit is to divert individuals from the traditional criminal justice system and redirect them to the most appropriate resources.

The Crisis Response Unit works closely with Patrol, Detectives, the Professional Standards Section, the Education & Training Section, Command Staff, the Crisis Intervention Committee (CIC), community partners, behavioral health service providers and advocates, academia, WSCJTC, the courts, and others involved in crisis response. 

The Seattle Police Department's CIT Coordinator works within the Crisis Response Unit.  The CIT Coordinator is responsible for implementing, sustaining, and day-to-day operations of the CIT Program within the Seattle Police Department.  SPD's CIT Program is based on the 40-hr certification model (https://www.citinternational.org/).

The CIT Coordinator serves as a community liaison and is the primary point of contact for the program, both for law enforcement and other community partnerships.  The CIT Coordinator participates in developing and providing CIT and de-escalation training to sustain the CIT program at both the Department and state levels.  The CIT Coordinator also sits on the Use of Force Review Board as a subject matter expert related to de-escalation.Officers may contact the CIT Coordinator at SPD_CIT_Coordinator@seattle.gov with any questions and/or feedback.

How does an officer become CIT Certified?

Per the standard guidelines of the CIT International program, CIT Certification is a voluntary program.  Currently, over 60% of the Seattle Police Department is designated as 40-hr 'CIT Certified'.

Subjects covered in the training include:

  • An overview of behavioral health disorders
  • Recognizing types of mental illnesses
  • Communicating with mentally ill individuals experiencing behavioral health
  • Officers learn different techniques for different disorders.

In addition to the CIT Certification training, the Seattle Police Department has conducted 8-hrs of annual mandatory Crisis/De-escalation training for all sworn personnel since 2014.  A sample of training topics range from access to local service providers, navigating the behavioral health systems and referrals, Designated Crisis Responders (DCR's), interactions with individuals on the Autism spectrum, Veterans and PTSD, and Traumatic Brain Injuries.   

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) proide the potential to prevent individuals at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms by allowing family, household members, and law enforcement to petition for a court order when there is demonstrated evidence that the person poses a significant danger.

Family or household members and Law Enforcement Officers may obtain an ERPO when there is evidence that the person poses a significant danger, including danger because of a threatening or violent behavior. The purpose and intent is to reduce gun deaths and injuries through an order temporarily restricting a person's access to firearms. 

Extreme Risk Protection Orders are available statewide and are not limited to Seattle.

For more information, please visit: https://protectionorder.org/erpo/extreme-risk-protection-order-help.html

Crisis Contacts Data

Resource List