- Posted February 12, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
New Bill Proposal To require North Carolina Law Enforcement be C.I.T Certified
On January 20th 2014 I started drafting a bill proposal for Keith Vidal's Mother. Shortly thereafter on January 30th we sat down with North Carolina State Rep. Frank Iler and presented him my 125 page proposal for “Keith’s Law”.
We discussed many things during the course of the meeting, and Mr. Iler was very perceptive to the notion of Keith’s Law. The meeting was concluded on the fact that the funding needed to be pinned down. I am humbled to be working with him, and am very grateful for his representation on this matter.
What is “Keith’s Law“?
Keith’s Law would require all Law enforcement officers in the State of North Carolina to take a Standard 40hr Crisis Intervention Training (C.I.T) Course. It would also make the training a requirement in Basic Law Enforcement Training or equivalents.
In our country there are thousands of documented cases, in which the outcome of a deadly situation could have been different, if this crucial training had been utilized.
In the state of North Carolina an estimated number of 1.37 million residents are in some way in need of mental assistance. There are an estimated 41,000 law enforcement professionals in our state. With the numbers so far apart, how can we consciously allow the people that protect and serve us to be untrained to do so.. If this Training isn't required what’s stopping a school resource officer from shooting an unstable 7th grader wielding a pencil. What’s stopping a parole officer from shooting an unarmed angry subject in a mental facility, or what’s stopping an overzealous beat cop from shooting a man that runs from them in a car during a mental break down.
We all have problems, whether it be Relationship issues, Stress at work, Family Problems, Returning Veterans, Death or Addiction. At any given time any one of us could be faced with a situation that puts us over the top. Rationality may escape some of us, causing a cataclysmic cycle of events that may affect an entire society. Today I write this not to inflame or incite, I write this in the hopes that my fellow Americans see a need for this training that may save a life, as close to them as their own.
The following excerpt is from the proposal as presented to N.C. State Rep. Frank Iler on January 30, 2014.
(Keith’s law: The purpose of this bill is to enact a law that would require all Public Safety and Police Officers responding to calls, attend a Mandatory Crisis Intervention Training and Certification class in the State of North Carolina. As many may already know, there are already preexisting laws and acts to provide this type of invaluable training to our officers for free. In the text of this bill I will lay out my plan for establishing a direct connection between police departments and Crisis Intervention Professionals. As well as outline funding sources which will make this training available to any and all Law Enforcement Agencies in The State and or Nation.
I drafted this Bill in the name of a close friend that died. Keith Vidal was a young man in need of help. Someone with the proper training could have easily deescalated the situation, to where deadly force wasn’t required. There are many different instances of this happening in our state. Just recently a man by the name of Jonathan Ferrell was shot 10 times by an officer as he approached them for help after a car accident in Mecklenburg County, NC. The following pages will document cases in which Crisis Intervention Training may have prevented tragic outcomes when dealing with mentally ill subjects.)
The Full 125 pg. proposal can be seen here in PDF format:
We are currently in the process of finding funding for this proposed bill. The federal assistance that was available (The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act) is now currently stalled in the house awaiting a re-approval of fund appropriations.
Keith’s Law is a common sense venture. If we have special statutes protecting law enforcement against litigation over use of deadly force, then they need to be trained to deal with people that don’t deserve to die for having a bad day. Interdepartmentally it may help with officers being able to spot at risk officers and step in to help as well. The training is available for around 100.00 dollars and in most case’s local nonprofits foot the bill. I know that I had to pay 100.00 for the right to conceal my firearm; I don’t think that it would be too farfetched to incorporate this training it into the price that they already pay for their educations. This is not meant to be a tax on law enforcement. It is meant to save lives.
If you aren't Familiar with the Keith Vidal Story Please Google the case.
If you would like to contribute information as to funding for a program of this type, please contact us.