October 17, 2011
Tiny Sand City's gained recognition from international law enforcement officials: Police Chief Michael Klein was named Police Chief of the Year by Crisis Intervention Team International, and Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will also offer up their praise and thanks at the supes' meeting Tuesday.
Klein is most recognized for his work in 2000 in establishing Monterey County’s Critical Incident Training Academy in partnership with the county Health Department. The academy is designed to encourage interaction between law enforcement, mental health care providers, individuals with mental illness, their families and communities.
The academy kicked off as an occasional training, which officers only reluctantly participated in. It's evolved into a five-day program that is widely accepted by law enforcement.
Among the academy's collaborators are the Coalition of Minority Organizations, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Alliance on Mental Illness, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Monterey County Police Chiefs Association and the Monterey County Mental Health Commission.
The academy's been instrumental in helping officers respond effectively to calls involving the mentally ill, which means an increased likelihood of physical confrontation. About 40 percent of people with serious mental illness will be arrested at least once, making police officers' tools for safe interactions essential, according to the health department's behavioral health bureau.
"Chief Klein was instrumental in bringing the Critical Incident Training Academy to fruition, Bureau Director Wayne Clark said in a statement. "His continued involvement contributed to the program becoming a nationally and internationally recognized model program."