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As of November 1, 2019 five members of Community Mental Health will join the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and respond to requests when CNT is activated. New members of the team are Jessica Halliday, Sarah Stewart, Nicole Muraca, Christine Holston and Katie Hoener.
CNT is currently comprised of 12 members from the Ann Arbor Police Department and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. It is the priority of the Washtenaw Metro Crisis Negotiation Team to work collectively with SWAT in a multi-agency capacity to bring peaceful resolutions to special threat situations through effective negotiation techniques. While each team member has received specialized training, none of them are licensed mental health professionals. With the addition of these new CMH members CNT will now have specialized mental health professionals at all times. The new members will attend the FBI’s basic 40-hour negotiation school as well as all yearly team trainings.
Over the last several years, CNT has reached out to Community Mental Health for the majority of the incidents which have required a crisis response. The documented pervasiveness of suspects/subjects suffering from a mental health issue with which crisis negotiators are forced to deal with, coupled with the lack of advanced mental health education by current CNT members has led to the new joint team.
Licensed professionals are used to educate crisis negotiators on suspects’ potential mental health conditions and to provide strategies that negotiators can utilize when bringing incidents to a peaceful resolution. They also have the ability to access medical records, including mental health records, that HIPAA prevents law enforcement from obtaining, but allows CMH professionals a limited ability to share during a health and safety crisis. In addition to providing communication ideas, CMH professionals can provide assessments on suspects’ potential risk for violence or suicide. They can also help to monitor the CNT members’ stress levels and help during the critical-incident stress debriefing once the incident has concluded.
For all of these reasons we are excited to announce the new joint Washtenaw Metro Crisis Negotiation Team.
For additional information contact the WCSO Director of Community Engagement, Derrick Jackson. 734-891-2243 or [email protected].