SFPD’s award-winning Crisis Intervention Team wins national acclaim from law enforcement trade publication 21-134
Force Science Institute lauds approach to volatile and dangerous police encounters that has seen San Francisco police ‘peacefully resolve 99.9 percent of crisis-related calls’ for service
The trade publication of a national research, training, and consulting organization for law enforcement agencies and officials today published a major feature story on the San Francisco Police Department’s groundbreaking Crisis Intervention Team. Noting that SFPD officers on average “peacefully resolve 99.9 percent of crisis-related calls” for service, today’s report by Force Science Institute drew heavily from a well-received June 9, 2021 presentation to the San Francisco Police Commission by SFPD Lieutenant Mario Molina. As part of that, Lieutenant Molina provided police commissioners with the following:
• SFPD CIT Annual Report (June 9, 2021)
• SFPD CIT Presentation (June 9, 2021)
Among those quoted in today’s feature story was Dr. John Azar-Dickens, a Force Science Institute instructor and expert in psychology and de-escalation, who praised the program: “The SFPD CIT team is one of the most sophisticated and effective law enforcement crisis intervention teams I have ever seen. Their 2020 report to the police commission features compelling evidence of their continued effectiveness.”
In the wake of the national outcry for reforms in police training for uses of force following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, the San Francisco Police Department’s approach to de-escalating dangerous and often highly volatile scenarios has earned national attention in other news outlets, including the following:
- “Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright and George Floyd: Would more de-escalation training stop police from killing people?” by Marco della Cava, USA TODAY, April 16, 2021; and
- “Training cops to de-escalate,” staff report, The Week, May 8, 2021.
Lieutenant Molina, who serves as coordinator of SFPD’s Crisis Intervention Team program, noted in today’s report that as of December 2020, more than 96 percent of San Francisco police officers were trained in Crisis Intervention Threat Assessment and Field Tactics, with more than 52 percent receiving certification status in Crisis Intervention Training. Today’s report also noted that SFPD’s CIT Training and Crisis Response program won an Award of Distinction for Excellence in 2019 from the California Peace Officers Association.
“While the statistics are compelling, our officers represent Crisis Intervention at its best,” Lieutenant Molina was quoted as saying in today’s FSI feature story. “It is in their humanity, and everyday real-life applications of de-escalation and strategic field tactics that we are able to see such profound results.”