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Psychiatr Serv. 2008 Sep;59(9):1049-51. doi: 10.1176/

Factors related to knowledge retention after crisis intervention team training for police officers.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, 49 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr., S.E., Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.



This study examined whether knowledge scores of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers would decline in the months following CIT training and whether shorter time since training would be a significant predictor of mental health knowledge retention. This study also examined whether sociodemographic and work-related characteristics would predict knowledge retention.


Eighty-eight CIT officers trained within the past three years completed an online survey containing sociodemographic and work-related questions and 17 of the 40 items used on the knowledge test that is administered at the end of training. Officers' posttraining and follow-up exam scores were matched.


As expected, knowledge scores decreased significantly in the months after CIT training. Less experienced officers had lower follow-up scores. However, time elapsed since training did not predict knowledge retention.


The findings indicate that CIT officers would benefit from continuing education about mental illnesses and that more seasoned officers may be better candidates for CIT training, at least in terms of knowledge retention.

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