Throughout North Carolina, law enforcement agencies, mental health professionals and advocates join in partnerships to establish Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). CIT programs are police-based pre-booking jail diversion programs that provide law enforcement officers the knowledge and skills they need to de-escalate persons in crisis. CIT programs emphasize access to treatment services rather than jail time for persons displaying signs of mental illness. Outcomes for both officers and the individuals in crisis are improved when communities work together in effective CIT programs.
The first CIT partnership was established in Memphis in the late 1980s. Since then the program, sometimes referred to as the “Memphis Model”, has been widely adopted throughout the United States and other countries. North Carolina graduated its first class of CIT certified officers in Wake County in 2005. This map illustrates the tremendous growth of CIT in our state since then.
- Total number of NC law enforcement officers CIT certified by 1/1/ 2015 = 7,004
- Number of NC law enforcement agencies participating in CIT by 1/1/2015 = 352
- Total number of telecommunicators (dispatchers) CIT-trained by 1/1/2015 = 755
- Total number of private security officers CIT-trained by 1/1/2015 = 127
- Total number of fire fighters, EMTs and paramedics CIT-trained by 1/1/2015 = 399
- Total number of others who have received CIT training by 1/1/2015 = 158
An additional 1,094 CIT officers became CIT certified in calendar year 2014, resulting in a 19% increase from the previous year, and an additional 21 law enforcement agencies began participating in a CIT program in North Carolina in 2014 – a 6% increase from the previous year.
There are approximately 21,143 law enforcement officers in the state . Based on these statistics, the proportion of all North Carolina law enforcement officers that were CIT certified by January 1, 2015 was more than 33%. Read the full survey report here.
Find out more about CIT in your area.
The regional mental health authorities known as Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs) typically coordinate the CIT training sessions for officers. Links to their websites, including CIT specific information where available, can be found here.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness state and local affiliates are also strong partners in most CIT programs. Find more about NAMI involvement or find your local affiliate at the NAMI-NC website.
The NC Division of MH/DD/SAS supports CIT development and sustainability throughout the state. Here is a list of publications and links recommended for local CIT coordinators and partnerships.