National police use of force deescalation programs are being implemented or considered across Upstate departments. 

Crisis Intervention Team, also known as CIT and Integrating Communications, Assessments, and Tactics, also known as ICAT are being implemented at thousands of departments across the country.  While the training is different in style, the two programs intertwine to give law enforcement officers everyday deescalation tools. 

ICAT was established by the Police Executive Research Forum, which tackles issues departments across the country are facing, like use of force incidents. ICAT specifically looks at use of force cases where the suspects do not have a firearm. 

Some of the tactics taught to officers include critically thinking through stressful situation, including encouraging officers to take a tactical pause in non-life threatening situations to evaluate what you are facing. 

The Charleston Police Department has implemented the ICAT program, while the Greenville Police Department is currently looking into the program.

To read about ICAT, click here. 

Those tactical pauses allow officers to implement training they’ve learned through Crisis Intervention Teams. CIT is a program that has been implemented at Greenville and Greer Police Departments and is being worked on at the Greenville and Spartanburg Sheriff’s Departments. 

CIT creates a pre-arrest jail diversion for those going through crisis. Paton Blough, CEO of Rehinge, assists Upstate departments in setting up CIT programs. The program not only trains officers how to connect with someone in a crisis to deescalate the situation, but creates options for the suspects to fully recover. Blough states the opening of the Mental Health Crisis Center this summer will allow those in crisis to have an alternative to an ER bed or jail. 

The CIT program has been implemented in more than 3,000 departments across the country.  Blough is currently working with the Greenville County Detention Center to help train the correction officers as well. 

To read more about CIT, click here.