IFIOC was requested by Frontier Behavioral Health to pilot a training project where police officers who completed 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT: mental health awareness for first responders) would receive an additional 40 hours of Motivational Interviewing training. This was based on feedback from officers that having awareness of mental health issues was helpful, but that they still did not have the communication skills to reduce conflict or facilitate more productive resolutions.
The officers received a 3-day introductory class, and then two individual 1-day advanced follow-up classes at one-month intervals. The follow-up classes included extensive role-playing with mock scenarios in the community. Officers were encouraged to submit body camera footage to be coded for fidelity and receive individual feedback reports and 1:1 coaching.
Outcomes (Data reported publicly by Spokane Police Chief):
• The original 16 officers who completed the 40-hour course had zero incidences of “use of force” for the six months following completion of the communication class.
• The Chief of Police has funded over 60% of his department to complete the training, including one specific training series for his entire Command Staff (Sargent and above).
• The Chief reported that, based primarily on the MI training, they have seen a 40% drop in “use of force” department wide.
• The Chief reported that, based primarily on the MI training, FY2018 was the first time in the history of the police department that they received more commendations from the public than complaints.
• The Chief has committed to having his entire workforce complete the full training, and stronger encouragement of officers submitting more body camera footage to be coded for “competency” and receive 1:1 coaching with the MICA.
• Casey Jackson was nominated by the Spokane Police Department and Frontier Behavioral Health, and was awarded the TEAM Player of the Year at the annual TEAM Conference