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WAUKEE, Iowa — The Waukee Police Department started its Crisis Intervention Team program on July 1st and since then, the team has responded to 36 calls.

Waukee Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team is called anytime there is a mental health emergency for police to respond to. It consists of a CIT officer and a social worker.

Chris Kickbush, Waukee PD’s CIT officer, said that having a CIT frees up regular patrol officers to focus on their calls. Officer Kickbush used to be a patrol officer before the CIT program started.

“It’s just really nice to know since I’m off patrol this is fully what I do so now every time when I get these calls I can 100% guarantee that person will get 100% of my time no matter how long it takes to do that call I can do that call so if it takes four hours I’ll be there for four hours,” Officer Kickbush said.

In addition to having a dedicated CIT officer, the entire police force in Waukee underwent 40 hours of crisis intervention training.

The department will be sharing what it has learned with other police departments around the metro so that they can implement their own crisis intervention teams.