National Alliance on Mental Illness Lane County (NAMI) honored Eugene Police Officer Bo Rankin from among local law enforcement with its 2016 CIT Officer of the Year award. Officer Rankin was the unanimous choice by the Lane County Regional Crisis Intervention Training team and NAMI Lane County Board of Directors.
Officer Rankin voluntarily attended the first EPD CIT course in December 2008. For the past four years, Officer Rankin has been instrumental in supporting the development, organization, and presentation of EPD CIT. During this time the EPD team provided CIT training for 85 percent of our sworn officers.
Since the inception of the Lane County Regional CIT program in 2014 Officer Rankin has been an integral member of the five person team. He's taken a leadership role for the past few years and kept the other senior supervisors on course as they learn from his past experiences facilitating CIT training. Officer Rankin has been in charge of coordinating our consumer and family panels and several other courses, as well as putting all the finishing touches on the overall class. Officer Rankin does all of this while also working his normal assignment as one of our Downtown Team officers. He uses the skills and resources developed from CIT and other trainings he’s attended to calm those in crisis. His immediate supervisor stated, “He excels at de-escalation and offers alternative problem solving” to those he meets on the streets. He’s an advocate of jail diversion and strives to find solutions to the situation.”
Officer Rankin genuinely cares about people and demonstrates his empathy and compassion in his daily work. As part of our Downtown Team he helped develop and implement the Community Outreach Response Team (CORT), which began this past summer. The team was modeled after the Salem/Marion Co police concept which he visited after seeing a presentation through the Mental Health Summit group; he also visited the Portland Police Bureau’s Behavioral Health Unit to learn what they were doing and model it here. The team was comprised of police, CAHOOTS (crisis and medical) and a homeless advocate. This team worked one day a week to engage people and offer services to get them into housing, treatment or other services to get them off the streets. During the project period, the team completed 40 intakes and placed 25 percent of those in housing. Countless others were provided other resources. The team received the Legal Professional/ Uniformed Public Service Award from Serenity Lane last month. Officer Rankin has also been a negotiator on our EPD Crisis Negotiation Team since approximately 2006. He routinely uses his communication and de-escalation skills to work with people in crisis and in dangerous situations. His knowledge of the local resources as well as his in depth street knowledge, compassion and ability to listen have been instrumental in many team successes.