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Celebrating nearly 30 Years of CIT

                    January 2016
January 2016 Contents

CIT International Conference 
Chicago April 25-27 2016 Chicago IL
Registration now Open

President's Message

When CIT National (later name changed to International) incorporated in 2009 as a non-profit organization our up-to-then CIT Advisory Board became the first official Board of Director members of the organization. We staggered the terms so that these founding members (who could possibly be elected to 3 terms which would encompass a total of 7, 8, & 9 years would not all have to leave the board at the same time. At the close of 2015 three founding members had to leave the organization due to term limits (at least for one year) after serving faithfully since 2009 and several years before that.

These 3 former board members are:

Jeffrey B. Lefton, Ph.D., LMHC, CAP; Delray Beach, FL
Mark Munetz, M.D.; Rootstown, Ohio
Lt. Jeffry B. Murphy; (Ret.)Chicago, Illinois

Please see link for bios.

Watertown Daily Times

Crisis Intervention Team formed: Jefferson County officers complete inaugural mental health training course
By Eli Anderson
Justin Sorensen Watertown Daily Times

Published: Jan. 16, 2016

WATERTOWN - Jefferson County is now one of the few counties in Northern New York with police officers trained to respond to emotional and mental health crises.
On Friday, 25 local law enforcement officers graduated from a 40-hour "Crisis Intervention Team" training program, offered by the county's Behavioral Health/Criminal Justice Collaboration project.

Timothy J. Ruetten, the project's director and Jefferson County's coordinator of mental health services, said graduating officers include state troopers, city police officers, Fort Drum police officers and Jefferson County sheriff's deputies and corrections officers.

He said all of the officers elected to join the training program because of their own personal interests.

"These are officers who have experience and who want to understand mental health better," Mr. Ruetten said. "Just like some officers make great SWAT team members and others don't - this is the same idea."

"Jefferson County is leading the way in all of Northern New York in doing this," he said.

full article + more photos

Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Report

Crisis Intervention Teams: A Key to Minimizing Use of Force  pp 24-27

Mike Woody, President, CIT International, speaker:

"Crisis Intervention Teams Work Better Than Giving All Officers a Little Training

In CIT, the 'T' stands for "team," not "training," and that's very important.

It's about creating a Crisis Intervention Team of special police officers, and the team is made up of law enforcement, mental health providers, and advocates working together for the greater good of the community and to troubleshoot any problems that may arise within this alliance.

At CIT International, we feel we have the backing of DOJ in most of the consent decrees in the last few years, as they and we do not endorse all officers going through CIT training. Why? For the same reason you don't make all officers SWAT team members.
You need special officers for special people. I think we can all agree that all departments, or at least the larger departments certainly, must have officers who are wearing that CIT pin and who have a lot of pride in it. They go out there and they do a great job. And it goes so much better when you have experts handling the calls.

A 40-hour course does not make an officer an expert at handling these calls. When you have specialized officers who are assigned these calls, they become experts at it.  And they handle the repeat calls, and go to that same address again and again if necessary, so they are able to build up a rapport with the person, and they know what works and what doesn't work for each individual."

This fall, CIT International presented the CIT Program at the International Association of Chief's of Police Conference (IACP) and also had an article published in their Police Chief magazine, entitled, The Five-Legged Stool: A Model for CIT Program Success

The Five-Legged Stool: A Model for CIT Program Success
Nick Margiotta, MEd, CIT Coordinator, Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program, based on the "Memphis Model," is an
innovative program designed to effectively assist individuals in their
communities who are in crisis due to behavioral health or developmental

CIT is often mistakenly viewed as law enforcement training; in reality, it is
considerably more. It is a program with a broad reach that relies on strong community  partnerships and a vibrant crisis system that understands and responds to the role and needs of law enforcement.

The CIT program encourages officers to access crisis facilities to redirect individuals in crisis away from the criminal justice system, when appropriate. This fosters engagement in the behavioral health system for connectivity to long-term treatment and services, which leads to sustainable change in the community.

The goals that are realized through implementation of CIT programs include increased officer and consumer safety and diversion of individuals in crises away from the criminal justice system and into the behavioral health system with the goal of long-term treatment and recovery. The CIT model reduces both the stigma and the need for further involvement within the criminal justice system for those in crisis.

read it all

"What are Cleveland police doing wrong?
How Crisis Intervention Training is supposed to work" and News Channel 5

A year-long NewsChannel 5 investigation found crisis intervention training was never fully implemented by Cleveland police because it failed to include command level staff and multiple social service agencies.

Nationally recognized experts at the Crisis Intervention Team Center, based in Memphis, Tenn., agree that weaknesses in Cleveland's program stem from "having become more of a training program-which doesn't include some of the layers that make CIT successful."

Sam Cochran is now a consultant with the CIT Center and helped establish the nation's first training program for police within the Memphis police department more than 20 years ago.

Cochran says training must include command-level staff-something that we found did not happen in Cleveland.

"To what extent is that nurturing happening in other areas of the department?" asks Cochran. "Do front supervisors or all level of supervisors understand the role of CIT?"

Cochran says to be successful, CIT must be more than just 40 hours of classroom training.

To be successful, CIT must be more than just 40 hours of classroom training.
Yet, our investigation found that top levels of the Cleveland police department failed for years to fully adopt the program.

Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath, who launched CIT training in 2005, admits that he "can't give a definitive number" when asked how many times he or the department has met with agency that provides CIT training for Cleveland police.

McGrath insists, "it was numerous times".

Full article:   


The current focus on law enforcement's response to mental health and substance abuse-related issues and increasing demand for more training seem to lead to more questions than answers.
  • Is more training the solution to bridging the gap?  
  • What is the "right" training?  What does it require?
  • Do all law enforcement officials need to receive training?
  • If not, then who does?
The issue is further complicated because, historically, law enforcement and behavioral health have functioned independently, and too often, at odds with each other. Recent events make it clear that community behavioral health crisis services play a critical role in public safety...

Read full text on CIT Int'l website

from our website

Learn more about CIT and CIT startup

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program is a model community initiative that emerged in Memphis, Tennessee that seeks to bridge the gap between police officers and the mental health system. The model is designed to create partnerships between law enforcement, behavioral health professionals, service recipients and their families. CIT helps to provide a forum for effective community problem solving and communication. Research also shows that communities that prescribe to the CIT Program model, have higher success rates in resolving explosive crisis situations.
In order to start an effective CIT Program, an understanding of the guiding principles and elements is needed. A strong CIT Program is more than just a training curriculum and the materials below have been created to help provide a strong foundation for understanding the CIT model.  

U.S. Dept of Justice Investigative Reports on police organizations 

Federal Justice officials have released their first 93-page review of how Portland (OR) police are complying with a host of required policy, training and oversight reforms.

From Dept. of Justice report - page 51:  footnote:

"To assist in further development of a Memphis Model CIT program, BHU, training staff, and ECIT officers should be encouraged to attend the CIT International Conference, to the extent possible, April 25-27, 2016 in Chicago "

full report can be read at:

More U.S. Dept of Justice Reports:

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    Please Support CIT--A better way to interact with persons with mental illness in crisis

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This link leads to a sampling of CIT related news items gathered from the December 2015 news media.

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 celebrating over 25 years of  CIT

The Team newsletter is normally sent to current members of CIT International. This issue is being sent to a broader list;  if you would like to receive it on a regular basis, please ensure that your membership is current.