Leading the way to wellness: KPD hosts crisis intervention training

Published on June 17, 2024


LĪHUʻE – On Jun. 7, 14 individuals became certified members of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).

The scarcity of mental health emergency services in the U.S. often places law enforcement professionals in the role of wellness advocates during situations when individuals find themselves overwhelmed, leading to behaviors that pose significant risks to themselves or others. CIT training equips officers with specialized skills and techniques to navigate such scenarios with empathy, de-escalation strategies, and an understanding of mental health nuances. By integrating CIT principles, law enforcement agencies enhance their ability to provide compassionate and effective responses, ultimately fostering safer outcomes for both individuals in crisis and the broader community.

The training, hosted by the Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD), drew participation from state, county and community partners, including the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Division, and representatives from the Kaua‘i Community College. The training presented a holistic understanding of mental health crisis intervention and fostered a unified response to behavioral emergencies on Kaua‘i.

Dr. Dara Rampersad, a first responder and forensic psychologist with 27 years of experience, taught the week-long class. The return of the CIT program, previously held in 2018 and 2023, marks the start of what KPD hopes will develop a deeper level of collaboration between agencies for a community-driven approach to solving crisis situations.

"I'm grateful for each one of you; taking the time to attend this training reflects your dedication and care for the safety and wellbeing of our community,” Assistant Chief Mark Ozaki addressed the class. “Let's continue to use this momentum to strengthen partnerships and turn every interaction into an opportunity to uplift and empower those we serve."

Do you want to make a difference in your community? You can be a part of the solution. Recruitment for the force is ongoing, with various open positions such as Police Officer, Emergency Services Dispatcher and Accountant. Learn more by visiting our recruitment website at https://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments-Agencies/Police-Department/Recruitment.


KPD hosted a week-long Crisis Intervention Team training to foster safer outcomes for both individuals in crisis and the broader community.


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