AN INITIATIVE OF THE NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES - DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES

NC CIT pin

Crisis Intervention Team program marks 10th Anniversary

7000 Law Enforcement Officers trained

December 4, 2015 — Ten years ago, the first Crisis Intervention Team training class was held in North Carolina. Supported by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, CIT training provides law enforcement officers 40 or more hours of training to prepare them to assist individuals experiencing a mental health, substance use or developmental disability crisis.

The first CIT class in North Carolina was held in Wake County in September 2005. Graduates included officers from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh Police Department and Cary Police Department. Since then, more than 7,000 law enforcement officers from more than 350 law enforcement agencies across the state have completed CIT training.

The CIT model emphasizes taking individuals to treatment rather than to jail, when it can be accomplished with little risk to public safety. CIT programs also emphasize that law enforcement and mental health systems work collaboratively to develop a network of services to support people in crisis.

“We thank North Carolina first responders for embracing CIT and the Department of Public Safety for implementing the training with officers across the state,” said Courtney Cantrell, Ph.D., director for DHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. “Their involvement acknowledges the challenges of mental illness and their commitment to finding better ways to respond to people experiencing mental health challenges.”

CIT training is offered throughout North Carolina’s prison system and has been extended to other first responders, including probation officers, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and EMS staff. DHHS provides technical assistance and training, and assists in role-playing.

The CIT model has been successfully implemented in many law enforcement agencies worldwide and is considered a best practice model in law enforcement.

To learn more about North Carolina’s CIT programs, or become involved in a local program, please contact Bob Kurtz, Ph.D. at 919-715-2771 or bob.kurtz@dhhs.nc.gov.