resources to conduct this work ( Bittner, 1967) and that they are interested in learning more about effectivelyresponding to persons with mental illnesses ( Vermette et al., 2005). Simultaneously, modern police have alsoresisted this encroachment of "social work" onto their traditional mission. Accordingly, it is unclear how rank andfile officers might feel about innovations that are less traditional and stray from the crime fighter ideal even whenPDF GENERATED BY SEARCH.PROQUEST.COMPage 1 of 16
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new the programs and policies address existing responsibilities. The current study advances the literature by examining officer perceptions of one innovation that has a socialservice orientation: the crisis intervention team (CIT). CIT is a police based response designed to increase safety inmental health crisis calls and decrease criminal justice involvement for PWMIs ( Dupont and Cochran, 2000).While CIT is believed to reduce officer workload by decreasing long-term contact with PWMIs, it also has socialservice undertones. CIT involves officers being trained to recognize mental illness, de-escalate crisis situationsand connect PWMIs to services when appropriate ( Council of State Governments, 2002). In short, CITrepresents a departure from the traditional law enforcement role largely adopted by police personnel. CIT is also designed to increase safety and efficiency in connecting individuals to mental health services andreduce repeated contacts with persons with mental illnesses ( Council for State Governments, 2002). Thoughnot empirically tested to date, this should reduce officer workload. Given both a potential workload benefit and anincreased social service function, it is unclear how rank and file officers will feel about this innovation. Thisinvestigation attempts to better understand officers' feelings about CIT. In the sections that follow, we will reviewrelevant literature and develop a model of police officer perceptions of CIT. Next, we use data from four districts inthe city of Chicago to test the model. Finally, officer perceptions of CIT are discussed. Police objectives and CITs Police and media have embraced the crime fighter image in a way that frames the police as primarily law enforcersbusy with addressing serious crime. This image has also meant that police work has been measured as effectivewhen crime rates are low, response times are fast and clearance rates are high. As a result, police officers andexecutives are most open to innovations that may improve that bottom line. COMPSTAT and other crime analysisinnovations promote these traditional activities and enhance police ability to fight crime. Not surprisingly, policerank and file have embraced these innovations ( Manning, 2011). Officers, however, have been skeptical of innovations that may challenge the crime fighter image, and byextension, the prominence of law enforcement ( Skogan, 2008). For example, community policing was met withmuch hostility by police officers across the country ( Lurigio and Skogan, 1994). Community policing wasdesigned to include citizens as co-producers of public safety through partnerships and problem solving. It
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