Today's program was on Crisis Intervention Training and the speakers were Major Steve Dolezal, Johnson County Sheriff Department and Jessica Peckover, LISW, the Alternative Coordinator of the Program.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests:
Rotarian and Guest – Tom Bailey – Seven Springs, FL, Guest of Roger Christian
Guest - Cole Lavasias – Iowa City, Prospective Member, Guest of Deb Dunkhase
Rotarian and Guest – Kingsley Botchway – Iowa City, Guest of Karin Franklin
Announcements and More:
Deb Ockenfels presented The Rotary Foundation Minute
Pat Schnack reminded club members to bring books for the Iowa City Public Schools’ libraries.
Nan Mercer Johnson is experiencing a severe case of Bell’s Palsy.  PE Deb asked that club members send cards of encouragement and good cheer. Nan’s address is:
            2946 Creighton
            Iowa City, IA 52245
PE Deb announced an Iowa MOST fund raiser.  The fund raiser is the purchase of either 25 or 50 pound vacuum packed Alaskan Salmon.  The salmon can be separated and divided between several people.  Deb encouraged club members to work together to purchase the salmon and to talk with their neighbors and co-workers about this opportunity.  The purchase of the salmon is partially deductible as a contribution.
Program:         CIT – Crisis Intervention Training
Major Steve Dolezal, Johnson County Sheriff Department
Jessica Peckover, LISW – Alternative Coordinator – Johnson County Sheriff Department
Major Dolezal was born in Iowa City.  He has risen through the ranks of the sheriff’s department to become second in command.
Jessica is a native of California.
Crisis Intervention is becoming the preferred method of dealing with incidents involving individuals who are having apparent mental/emotional issues and have not yet caused a criminal incident.
Most law enforcement bodies such as police and sheriff departments are initially skeptical of the use of CIT.  However, after sending initial research teams to communities that use CI as the first line of action when confronted with individuals experiencing emotional issues these departments become fervent advocates of CI.
The Johnson County Sheriff Department has embraced it for several reasons.  Two of the best are: reducing the incarceration rate of individuals with mental health issues and getting them into a treatment-based service.  This is decriminalizing behavior that was causing overflow issues at the county jail.  The second reason is cost reduction.  Moving the individual into mental health treatment almost immediately reduces the time that the sheriff deputy spends with the individual from up to 3 hours to approximately an hour.
The time line for CIT is:
2015 – Johnson County learns about CIT by visiting San Antonio, Texas
2016 – Johnson County introduces CIT to its department, Iowa City and the University of Iowa
2017 – Training to be held at St. Patrick’s Church, by officers from San Antonio in March
Law enforcement personnel from Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, University Heights, University of Iowa and Johnson County Sheriff’s Department are all participating in this highly effective intervention method.