Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Climbing the Ladder

Its been an interesting few days or so...I went to talk to a local officer I have the pleasure of being a friend too. It was difficult to approach him, being in the mindset that I had to, no needed to know, law enforcements, or atleast our local law enforcements standpoint was regarding CIT before I could continue.

You see, since visiting that Huffington Post board, I had become rather skeptical of LE's intention in helping the mentally ill, when it came to the CIT program. I needed to know whether they were utilizing the program strictly to know how to "handle" or "deal with" the mentally ill appropriately to make their jobs easier, or did they really have the best interest of the mentally ill people in their communities at heart?

I was struggling with this so hard. I'd even put the director of our local CIT program in the middle in the process as he had emailed me to allow me the dates of the next classes, and the dates I would be needed to speak to all local LE. Bless his ever so forgiving heart for being patient with me as I upon that email wrote to say...."Don't know if I want to be around LE anymore". Indeed he could have dumped me right there, not wanting to deal with the conflict, instead, he wrote me back in compassion, allowed me to know I wasn't alone in how I felt. I was very grateful for that, little did I even realize, he lives on the same fine line I do. I decided then to go ahead and face the issue head on with LE. I suppose I had come to realize that running from everything I want to be a part of was not going to work. And yet, I still needed to be comfortable in the environment as well. So, I made the appointment, I went in, and it proved to be the best thing I ever did.

He was honest, even if I didn't want to hear it, he was honest, that is a treasure to me. I will always be grateful for honesty whether I want to hear it or not, because atleast it isn't a lie. I'm most certain he may have felt just as uncomfortable with some of the ways I had put things, as I tend to not have a filter, and what is in the mind comes straight out the mouth with me. I certainly don't mince words, when I'm well or not well.

I walked away feeling confident again, he told me what a value I was in the CIT  program, and that he intends to have all his officers trained in the program. That to lose me from the program would be a great loss because, there aren't many being multi diagnosed severely mentally ill that is as articulate in speaking as I am. He feels the details that I have to offer his officers can be an invaluable asset to help slow them down and put them in our shoes for a bit. He also hopes to break the stereotyping and stigma barriers between LE and the mentally ill, which is exactly why I joined CIT to begin with. I don't get paid to go in there and tell my story to those EMT, Fire and Police personnel, it is strictly voluntary. My heart and soul dedicated to ending criminalization of the Mentally Ill. Breaking those stereotypes and stigma's associated with it, is a giant step in the right direction. He was unaware I am also involved in 2 other governmentally funded programs. I must have talked with him for around an hour, and it made a huge impact on me.

This officer is also the Captain of our local PD. He didn't just "have" time for me, he made time for me, as about the first half an our of our conversation was interrupted for the need to listen to his radio as his officers were in pursuit of an individual that began in a vehicle, in which he bailed out of, had many of them running on foot, through this street, and that street, then through a river, and finally after much struggling, he was arrested. He could have gotten up and walked away from our conversation to tend to his officers, but instead, he resumed our conversation anyway. I'm pretty sure I can feel confident in where his heart is.

I will resume with the CIT program, despite the rest of this countries officers think, I know my heart is in the right place, and I know our local PD  does indeed have our best interest at heart, I can only hope his kind spreads across this nation like a wildfire. He certainly is a really good man.

No comments: