Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training is a nationally recognized program that teaches law enforcement safe and effective approaches to handling crisis incidents involving a mentally ill individual. The intensive 4-day training is conducted under the instructional supervision of local CIT-trained police officers, mental health professionals, consumers, and family advocates and offers practical techniques for de-escalating crisis situations.
CIT Coordinator Jodi Long, Director of Clinical Services and Planning for the Tri-County Board, said, "The CIT Academy and the companion courses have been extremely successful. Officers tell us they now feel better equipped to handle calls involving mental health crises, and those of us involved with mental health services have a better understanding of what the law enforcement officers deal with in the field."
The class of 2015 is the 10th law enforcement group to complete the program in the Tri-County Board's service area, bringing the total number of trained officers to 198. The training is underwritten by the Tri-County Board's mental health levy, by grants from the Ohio chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, and by in-kind donations of food by local vendors.
"We are especially excited this year," Long said, "because not only is it our 10th academy, but with the assistance of the NAMI stipends, we were able to train officers from three communities who had not yet had any officers trained. We now have CIT-trained officers in every corner of each of our counties."
The Tri-County Board also presents CIT companion courses for mental health professionals, dispatchers, court personnel and other groups. For more information about the CIT Academy or companion courses, see the Tri-County Board's website at www.tcbmds.org/community.