Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Services


Law enforcement personnel often find themselves responding to crisis calls involving mental health disorders or behaviors; however, standard police training sometimes lacks proper protocol or resources to manage such scenarios without resorting to the use of force. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is one potential resource that offers law enforcement personnel the tools to handle mental health crises effectively, but implementing it requires a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy to build community trust and improve responses. This paper emphasizes law enforcement's need to adopt creative, compassionate, and ethical approaches in mental health crises due to past tensions and inadequate training. It introduces a transformative action plan based on stewardship principles to improve outcomes for individuals in crisis, police officers, communities, and the criminal justice system stakeholders. The traditional approach of how law enforcement responds to crisis calls involving individuals with mental health issues has come under scrutiny due to its use of force, lack of training, and inadequate mental health resources. This paper identifies stakeholders that would support or oppose a proposed change to address this issue, its legal ramifications, court decisions, public policies, and legislation helping or hindering it.