Crisis Intervention Team - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Crisis Intervention Team

Ryan Cody
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX - Experts say a new team at the Amarillo Police Department is saving lives daily. And most people don't even know they exist.

Just a few weeks ago NewsChannel 10 told you about a rise in the amount of attempted suicides in the panhandle. But not all mental health cases reach a deadly point. And prevention is something The Amarillo Police Department has made a commitment to.

Officer Erik Grimland is one of the handful of police on The Crisis Intervention Team. He says they receive calls everyday from people who become violent and need help mentally. "You have to look at the safety factor in that you wouldn't want someone who is not equipped to deal with physical violence like that going in to that situation."

Such as Licensed Professional Counselor Christy ford. The crisis intervention team works closely with Ford to make sure the right care is offered.

"Instead of placing that person in jail or leaving they can give them mental health help. And so that person doesn't end up homeless of committing suicide or hurting anyone else. And so I think every call they go on, they prevent something horrible from happening."

Which is becoming the case more and more often these days. As experts say Spring time is the peak season for mental breakdowns.

Officer Grimland says, "I guess it was last week, I had one day where I answered 17 calls. Just on mental health stuff. So there's a big need for it."

The Crisis Intervention Team is the only 24-7 government agency in the area that responds to mental crisis issues. If you or someone you know needs help immediately. You're asked to call 9-1-1.

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