Commission commends three 24th District officers for preventing suicide
The Commission is recommending formal commendations for 24th District officers Joseph Flynn, Thomas Maminski, and Jodi Conn. Officers Flynn and Maminski, graduates of the police department's pilot Crisis Intervention program, used their newly-acquired skills along with Officer Conn to talk a despondent person down from a bridge.
"The quick thinking and decisive intervention of these three officers prevented a tragedy," said Deputy Director Kelvyn Anderson, a member of the Philadelphia RESPONDS committee working to bring the benefits of CIT to Philadelphia. "This is proof that CIT works, is teaching valuable skills to our officers, and connecting them to professionals and resources in our behavioral health community to improve our service to citizens and mental health consumers. "We're proud to be part of this effort and want the public to know that our police department in cooperation with the behavioral health system is improving the safety of officers and citizens during encounters that involve mental health issues."
"These officers gave this individual a sense of hope, that other options were available," said Michele Dowell, CIT Program Coordinator. The three officers then went the extra mile and followed up with the assigned social worker, Dowell noted. Police transported nearly 7000 individuals to City Crisis Response Centers in 2004. Improvements in police training and coordinated efforts with behavioral health agencies, prisons and consumer advocated have helped break the cycle of recidivism in communities around the nation.
Under the pilot program, 103 CIT officers in the East Division (Districts 24, 25, and 26 in North Philadelphia) have graduated from the program along with eight Philadelphia Prison System CIT-trained employees.READ MORE about Philadelphia CIT efforts
in the NACOLE (Natl Association for Civilian Review of Law Enforcement) Winter 2008 Newsletter.