ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As local leaders and law enforcement talk about police reform we’ve heard a lot about FIT and PIC teams.
What exactly are they? Here’s a brief description:
The Daniel Prude case prompted calls to get mental health experts to respond to mental health calls. The idea here is they’re better trained than police officers to handle these incidents or crises. In response, Monroe County highlighted their program designed to address these types of calls.
It’s called the Forensic Intervention Team, or FIT.
It was created about 5 years ago, and it’s made up of experts from the county’s Office of Mental Health. They’re on standby to help law enforcement all over the county — including the City of Rochester.
They recently jumped from five members to 10, and they’re about expand to 28.
Up until now FIT has generally helped after an incident to get someone connected to the services they need, but deputies are now being encouraged to get fit involved sooner, if need be.
Now we go to the PIC team, or Person In Crisis team.
This was started in January by the City of Rochester, and only for the City of Rochester. It employs mental health professionals like the FIT team, but here’s a key difference: they’re building up to respond with police.
They call it co-response.
They have 13 team members right now, but will soon have 30.
PIC is just a pilot program and is scheduled to end in June, but will likely get extended.
There is some overlap between FIT and PIC, which is why 911 dispatch is working on a system right now that they hope will send the right resource to the right place at the right time.