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Advocates Want More NYPD Officers Trained In Crisis Intervention

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) --There's a push to train and dispatch specific NYPD officers to 911 calls involving an emotionally disturbed person.

As WCBS880's Rich Lamb reported, members of Community Access -- a mental health advocacy non-profit -- stood on City Hall steps and started by praising the NYPD's Crisis Intervention Training.

"I've sat in the CIT training three times. It's a really good training, and the police have trained over 4,400 officers," Carla Rabinowitz said.

Crisis Intervention Training or CIT helps police handle an emotionally disturbed person.

Advocates say only about 4,000 NYPD officers have it, and they're not necessarily the ones that respond to the call, 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reported.

"While we are encouraged by what's happening so far it's not working if we're still shooting people in the middle of an emergency," Steve Coe said.

Coe is with the group Community Access which is asking for 10,000 officers to be trained especially in the emergency services unit.

His plea was echoed by friends of Deborah Danner who was shot and killed by police in the Bronx.

"Get the proper police department training to go to those calls which happen many, many times," Danny said.

The NYPD said the training only started last year, and all new recruits get CIT.

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