Officers with the Columbus Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team delivered “Compassion Kits” to homeless individuals in the community during some of the hottest weather this week.
On Tuesday, three members of the team — Officers Cody Wooten, Jackie Recarte and Zach Romero — delivered the kits contained hygiene products, water, Gatorade, snacks, and other items. The kits were put together by volunteers working with the Foundation for Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, local churches, civic organizations, and individual donors.
Chaplain John Bundick, organizer of the Compassion Kit project, said it was amazing to see how many people purchased materials from the Amazon Wishlist, showed up to help pack the kits, and the efforts of local churches to collect items and provide funds to take care of vulnerable neighbors.
The officers also provided information about services and resources available in the community including ASAP Hub, Turning Point, Centerstone’s Recovery Engagement Center, and veteran’s resources.
Recarte said “the goal is to get people connected with resources before officers have to confront them in a crisis where there is more potential for someone to get hurt.”
Crisis Intervention Team members received training that equips law enforcement officers to engage with residents who mental wellness issues or specific barriers such as homelessness.
The police department continues to expand the number of officers who receive the training. In November, there will be a joint crisis intervention training between the department and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.