So how much does it cost to change a culture? More specifically, how much does it cost to train most officers in Kitsap County in at least some basic CIT skills, and encourage more interest in this style of policing?
In early 2014, the estimate was 333k. That's the amount the Bremerton Police Department requested to provide all officers in the county with some level of CIT training.
In late 2014, the estimate was 117k. That's the amount the County Commissioners approved to get Bremerton started on its program.
Now it's 2015 and we know the answer is far less than that. According to Poulsbo Officer Dave Shurick, who has taken the lead on CIT training for the county, this is what has been done, over the past ten months or so, with less than 16k:
-175 road deputies and officers have been trained in the 8 hour CIT course and 30 officers have received 40-hour CIT training.
-23 Crisis Intervention Officers (CIO's) have been appointed by law enforcement agencies.
But the larger point remains: big changes in policing can be made with a relatively small amount of money. Culture change depends on police leadership, dedicated officers, and people outside of police departments who want to make a difference. Our thanks go out to all of them.