The Crisis Intervention Team Program (CIT) provides training and education to law enforcement officers. It is a partnership of professionals who are committed to assisting those with mental illnesses and other brain disorders. This partnership includes mental health service providers, law enforcement, local members of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), family members and those who have a mental illness.
The program trains law enforcement officers to effectively interact with those who have a mental illness more humanely. It is a 40-hour, five-day course that is comprised of classroom instruction and practical exercises. Officers gain insight in recognizing signs and symptoms of mental illness, visit local behavioral health clinics and are taught de-escalation techniques designed to reduce conflict and increase the chances of communication and cooperation with the goal being that those with mental illnesses receive treatment for their illness.
Additionally, CIT provides the information necessary to guide officers in re-directing individuals away from the criminal justice system and into emergency behavioral health facilities. For more information, visit the websites for: National Alliance on Mental Illness and citinternational.org.
CIT Graduating Class of 2017
St Marys Georgia
CIT Trainer Lieutenant Shannon D Brock
|"There are over 700 trained Crisis Intervention Team Law Enforcement Officers in Savannah and the surrounding Chatham County municipalities. CIT officers are engaging daily with persons in crisis and are more successful at de-escalation and referral to resources in lieu of incarceration. Responses to persons in crisis in our community are on the rise. When a person in crisis calls 911, a CIT Officer will be dispatched to the scene. Citizens can request a CIT Officer respond if they feel this would best assist in resolving the call. Officers who are not CIT trained may also summon a CIT officer to the scene if their assistance is needed. CIT officers across the state can be identified by the Georgia CIT pin they wear on their uniform."
Lieutenant Hiram Rivera Jr. is now
Chief of Police in Kremmling Colorado
Savannah Police Department
CIT Trainer/Hostage Negotiator
Watch Commander, Northwest Precinct
|“In 1988, Memphis introduced the first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) as a result of community outcries from local NAMI members. NAMI voices challenged obvious unsuccessful mental illness crisis responses: “Can’t we (community) do better?” After a 1987 law enforcement shooting event the Memphis community followed leadership to develop, expand, and implement a new beginning: CIT partnerships voyaging a community exploration. NAMI persisted in steering pathways that were uncompromising – mental illness is a brain illness and respect and dignity are necessary components within hope and recovery. From this “heart” CIT breathed a unique identity – CIT is more than just training. The CIT foundational pillars supported principles of human dignity, understanding, kindness, hope and dedication. Processing and understanding CIT requires visions beyond traditional limitations that suggest “more” of the same will somehow illuminate a new awakening – not so, says those who see and understand the vision of CIT as a new heart – a “specialist” response.
Major Sam Cochran (ret.) is nationally known for his work developing the CIT model. He was the Coordinator of the Memphis Police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) which started in 1988 from an outpouring of community partnerships. He holds a masters degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi. He retired from the Memphis Police Department after 33 years of service which include numerous assignments including Coordinator of the Memphis Hostage Negotiation Team. Retiring in 2008, Major Cochran joined the University of Memphis as a CIT Project Grant Coordinator and as Coordinator of the CIT Center. Major Cochran is passionately engaged in many services promoting CIT as a community program – more than just training. In addition to receiving the City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement News Person of the Year Award (2000), the National Alliance on Mental Illness named an annual law enforcement advocacy award after Major Cochran.” (Taken from www.citinternational.org)
Major Sam Cochran (ret.)
Co-Chairman CIT International Board of Directors
With Dottie Bailey, CEO Mental Health Alert Wristbands, Inc.
and Debra Cameron,
MHA Wristbands Representative