The CMU Police Department ensures that its officers and staff receive training as required by applicable law and in accordance with department policies. Additionally, we are committed to proactive training to stay informed on best practices and community engagement. Examples of our training programs are below.
Officers receive training in the appropriate ways to deal with persons in crisis, including helping them to calm down and approach solutions using options other than violence or use of force. Domestic violence, mental health issues and drug dependency are just a few areas where this training is used. The result has been minimum use-of-force incidents and significant conflict resolution.
Officers are presented with opportunities to serve a public that includes various cultures, races, religions and ethnicities. Sensitivity and appropriate approach to all members of the public is reinforced. The concept that many cultures are not comfortable with police is also discussed so that officers present themselves in a way that is approachable and not threatening. Mannerisms, police practices or verbiage that can be found offensive by some cultures is also reviewed.
Officers are required to attend a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training Program (CIT). The program focuses on behavioral issues relating to mental illness, anger, drug use, bipolar disease, dementia, excited delirium and Alzheimer’s disease, introducing appropriate ways to approach and deal with such persons and issues. The training is presented by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in cooperation with law enforcement and has resulted in numerous life-saving events by our officers.
Implicit Bias Training
Officers are made aware of implicit bias as it relates to police and their relationships with the public. Recognizing that it is an unconsciously held set of beliefs about a social group, officers are instructed how to recognize such bias and ensure that it is never exhibited or permitted to impact decisions or treatment of the public. Vice Chancellor Becky Petitt of UC, San Diego, conducted a 16-hour program focusing on identifying and mitigating bias for all CMU police officers.
Additional Training Areas
- Appropriate use of force training
- Dealing with Excited Delirium
- First aid/use of NARCAN
- Green dot training
- Handling sexual assault complaints
- Impartial policing
- Outreach and support for the LGBTQIA community