National Alliance on Mental Illness Lane County (NAMI) honored Eugene Police Officer Joe Kidd from among local law enforcement with its 2019 Crisis Intervention Team Training Award. The recipient of the CIT Training award exhibits the knowledge to the work with persons in crisis who may have a mental illness: they have a profound impact on the individual, their loved ones as well as the members of the community at large.
The NAMI Lane County Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year Award is presented annually to a local officer or deputy who has completed CIT training and has used that training to help those in our community who suffer from mental illness. Often, the officers who dedicate the most time and effort to underserved members of our community are not recognized for their contributions; their actions are frequently less visible to the community and their fellow law enforcement officers than more “traditional” police work. This award is NAMI’s way of telling those officers that their work is not in vain.
Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jesse Olsen read the following statement just prior to Officer Kidd being presented the award during a ceremony on December 12: “NAMI Lane County has selected Eugene Police Office Joe Kidd as our 2019 CIT Officer of the Year award. Officer Kidd has repeatedly distinguished himself through his work at the street level in Eugene, taking extra time for, and paying special attention to, the vulnerable members of our community. In just one example that was relayed to me by Officer Kidd’s supervisors, Officer Kidd went far beyond the normal expectations of a police officer to assist a homeless veteran with mental health issues. After developing a rapport with the veteran, Officer Kidd took it upon himself to assist the man with gaining access to services. In addition, Officer Kidd attempted to respond to or follow up on any call for service that involved the man, and solicited help from other officers by sharing what information he could about the best way to communicate with the man when he was in crisis and Officer Kidd was not available to respond. This is but a single example of Officer Kidd’s dedication to helping others, and especially those in crisis. I would like to thank him, both personally and on behalf on NAMI Lane County for his service to our community.”
The CIT Training Award is awarded annually. NAMI Lane County has developed the awards to recognize officers who have been through CIT training, and put that training to use to benefit the community. Nominations are solicited from the primary law enforcement agencies in the area (Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Eugene Police Department, and Springfield Police Department), and candidates who meet the criteria are presented to the NAMI Lane County Board of Directors. The board discusses the nominated individuals and selects one recipient by majority vote. Some of the things they focus on to make the selection include: an officer’s demonstrated compassion toward those with mental illness or who are in crisis; an officer’s efforts to divert those with mental illness away from jail when possible; an officer’s advocacy for those affected by mental illness, including loved ones and family members; and any actions which have had a profound impact on individuals in crisis and their families.