COPS Office Publications

The COPS Office publishes materials for law enforcement and community stakeholders to use in collaboratively addressing crime and disorder challenges. These free publications provide you with best practice approaches and give you access to collective knowledge from the field. Below you can find some recent and featured publications related to CIT available in the COPS Office Resource Center.


Download at the COPS Office Resource Center.

Hard copy can be ordered at no charge.

Law Enforcement Best Practices: Lessons Learned from the Field - 2019

Abstract: The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) examines key areas for community policing. These areas include de-escalation; crisis intervention; first-line supervisors; early intervention systems; internal affairs; recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention; and data systems. New and seasoned law enforcement executives as well as the personnel who work for chiefs and sheriffs have a responsibility to engage in ongoing, collaborative, and sincere efforts to improve the outreach and service to their communities. Law enforcement leaders should engage in dialogue as they assess the particular needs and areas of concern for the communities they serve and should work collaboratively to develop and implement a strategic plan. The guide was developed in collaboration with experts and practitioners from across the country and provides best and promising practices grounded in academic research and practical experience suitable for agencies of all sizes. In order to address the complex relationship among each of these issues, the guide provides actionable checklists to start a conversation about the actions law enforcement agencies can take to positively affect the quality of life and safety for every member of the community.


Download at the COPS Office Resource Center.

Hard copy can be ordered at no charge.

Park Ridge's Success Story on Going Beyond Crisis Intervention Team Training: Building Whole-Community Responses to Mental Health - 2018

Abstract: An ongoing concern of today’s law enforcement agencies is how to manage officers’ increasingly frequent contact with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and how to do so safely, effectively, and with compassion. To identify best practices, the COPS Office provided funding to the Park Ridge (Illinois) Police Department to pilot a whole-community approach to mental health that extends efforts beyond crisis intervention team training. Together with a team comprising community stakeholders and members of the regional healthcare system, the department worked to expand community engagement and streamline responses to mental health crisis by identifying effective new strategies. This case study tells Park Ridge’s story, highlighting lessons learned, sharing promising practices, and identifying opportunities for further exploration and collaboration.


Download at the COPS Office Resource Center.

Hard copy can be ordered at no charge.

Sheriffs Addressing the Mental Health Crisis in the Community and in the Jails - 2019

Abstract: Law enforcement has increasingly become the primary point of contact for individuals living with mental illness, and the presence of these individuals in jail and prison populations has grown to crisis proportions. This report – developed by the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) in partnership with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) – identifies innovative practices that have proven successful in reducing the arrest and incarceration of individuals living with mental illness in jurisdictions across the country. The programs have shown promise in several areas: diverting those who live with mental illness away from the criminal justice system, supporting individuals in the court system, identifying and treating those who have been incarcerated, and helping individuals successfully re-enter their communities after discharge. The report includes case studies of seven jurisdictions and resources developed by law enforcement executives and experts in the field.


Download at the COPS Office Resource Center.

Hard copy can be ordered at no charge.

Preventing Minority Youth Violence: Lessons from Law Enforcement—Public Health Collaborations - 2020

Abstract: The Minority Youth Violence Prevention Initiative seeks to engage public health organizations, law enforcement agencies, schools, juvenile justice agencies, and community-based groups to curb violence in minority communities across the United States and reduce disparities in access to public health. In conjunction with a COPS Office-funded report that identified challenges and lessons learned at nine sites funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Court Innovation has prepared this toolkit to help organizations design and implement youth violence prevention programs of their own.


Download at the COPS Office Resource Center.

Hard copy can be ordered at no charge.

Law Enforcement and Public Health: Sharing Resources and Strategies for Safer Communities - 2012

Abstract: The public health field has long recognized violence as more than just a law enforcement problem. A 1979 Surgeon General report made one of the first explicit links between public health and law enforcement by identifying violent behavior as a significant risk to health. Four years later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established the Violence Epidemiology Branch. Over the years, practitioners in both health and law enforcement have developed a richer understanding of the causes of violence and strategies to address it. This report documents the discussion at an executive session aimed at exploring how public health approaches and partnerships can help law enforcement practitioners prevent and reduce incidents of violence.

The Beat Podcasts

The COPS Office’s podcast series, The Beat, features interviews with experts from many disciplines and provides law enforcement with the latest developments in community policing. Below you can find some featured episodes of The Beat related to CIT.

The Arc Resources to Inform Law Enforcement about I/DD - 2019

Leigh Ann Davis and Ariel Simms from The Arc of the United States provide an overview of The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability, and explain what resources their organization makes available to law enforcement. The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Applying Procedural Justice to People with I/DD - 2019

Chief Will Johnson from the Arlington Police Department (TX) and Professor Amy Watson from the University of Illinois at Chicago discuss applying procedural justice to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Promising Practices for Officers Interacting with I/DD Individuals - 2019

Leigh Ann Davis from The Arc of the United States and Travis Akins, a retired officer and founder of the Growth Through Opportunity program share Promising Practices for officers as they interact with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Procedural Justice: Mental Illness - 2013

In this podcast, Associate Professor Dr. Amy Watson discusses police encounters experienced by persons who have mental illness.

Public Safety De-escalation Tactics for Military Veterans - 2012

In this podcast, Wayne Shellum, Training Services Director of the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute, discusses public safety de-escalation tactics for military veterans in crisis.

Publications available in the COPS Office Resource Center

In this podcast, Director of Policy and Legal Affairs Ron Honberg and Crisis Intervention Teams Program Manager Laura Usher of the National Alliance on Mental Illness discuss with Kimberly Nath of the COPS Office their work with law enforcement on mental health issues.

Crisis Intervention Teams & Responding To People with Mental Illness - 2010

Retired Major Sam Cochran Dr. Randy Dupont share info on how crisis intervention teams can aid community policing efforts. They also explain how they are training law enforcement professionals to deal with people suffering from mental illness.

Additional Resources, Guides, Toolkits, and Trainings

There are a host of resources centered on mental health and crisis intervention developed and published by nationally renowned organizations that serve as experts in the field. 

The Police Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit

Assessing the Impact of Crisis Intervention Teams: A Review of Research Academic Training to Inform Police Responses Best Practice Guide - University of Cincinnati - March 2021

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Methods for Using Data to Inform Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide - SAMHSA

National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care: Best Practice Toolkit - SAMHSA

CIT International's Guide to Best Practices in Mental Health Crisis Response

Police Officer Toolkit: PTSD and Military Veterans

Police - Mental Health Collaborations A Framework for Implementing Effective Law Enforcement Responses for People Who Have Mental Health Needs

The Police Mental Health Collaboration Self-Assessment Tool

Bazelon - Diversion to What - Evidence-Based Mental Health Services That Prevent Needless Incarceration - September 2019

Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC) - Applied De-Escalation Tactics Training by the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC)

The Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC) program provides critical and tailored technical assistance resources to state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies on a wide variety of topics, including de-escalation, crisis intervention, officer safety and wellness, and community engagement. It features a “by the field, for the field” approach while delivering individualized technical assistance using leading experts in a range of public safety, crime reduction, and community policing topics. CRI-TAC is a public service and offered at no-cost to law enforcement.

CRI-TAC partnered with LEIC to develop an Applied De-escalation Tactics training program. The training provides law enforcement personnel the necessary tools and skills to de-escalate a situation. Training participants learn the foundations of de-escalation and apply skills through practice scenario-based situations either in a simulator or through role play. This training program incorporates a two-day direct training followed by a one-day train-the-trainer.

CRI-TAC is delivering this training upon request.