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Crisis Intervention Team
A pre-booking Jail Diversion Program

CIT is a community-based collaboration between law enforcement, local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental health consumers, mental health providers, community colleges and law enforcement training centers.

Law Enforcement Officers are frequently front-line responders to persons in crisis with a serious mental illness. In an effort to better prepare officers to respond to these individuals, a number of communities (more than 500 in the US) have developed a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). These initiatives are modeled after the parent program which began in 1988 and is located in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Three Components of CIT Programs 
  1. Intensive Law Enforcement Training - Police officers receive up to 40 hours of training regarding mental illness and response strategies.
  2. Strong Mental Health Partnerships – Police and mental health triage systems exist whereby officers responding to people in crisis have viable options for linking individuals with mental health treatment in lieu of arrest.
  3. Significant Mental Health Consumer And Family Involvement - Consumer and family advocates are integrally involved in the design and implementation of local CIT Programs.
CIT is a specialized law enforcement response to people in serious mental health crisis. Carefully selected volunteer patrol officers receive Crisis Intervention Team training in a 40-hour certification course where they learn:
  • Recognition and Assessment of Signs of Mental Illness for Persons in Crisis
  • Basic Diagnosis and Medication Knowledge
  • Verbal De-Escalation Skills
  • Community Resource Information

CIT Step-by-Step

  1. Family member or other person calls 911 for mental health crisis
  2. Patrol Officer dispatched; when mental health crisis is identified CIT officer is called to the scene
  3. CIT Officer assesses situation utilizing verbal de-escalation and other learned skills then determines best course of action; if more extensive mental health assessment is needed Mobile Crisis can be called to the scene
  4. Mental health consumer receives appropriate services while coordination with Criminal Justice System maintains accountability
For More Information on CIT Download fact sheet.

Upcoming CIT dates:
  • August 11-15, 2014
  • November 10-14, 2014
Sarah Greene, 704-336-2944, Program Administrator of Criminal Justice Partnerships, Mecklenburg County Provided Services Organization

Captain Johnny Jennings, 704-336-8398, North Tryon Division of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Margaret Peacock, 704-333-8218, Charlotte Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 
Sarah Shaw, Charlotte Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 
More information is also available on and search CIT Resource Center.

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