mental health & substance abuse encounters

Crisis Intervention Team Training

CIT-trainingStark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery supports the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training of law enforcement professionals in our community. Crucial to reducing violence and ensuring successful intervention of mental health and substance abuse situations, officers are trained in proven and effective communication techniques.

The CIT model was first developed and implemented in 1988 by the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department. The Team was developed to address the special challenges to law enforcement posed by persons with mental illness and to better serve the community.

Local training is led by the Crisis Intervention & Recovery Center and involves area mental health/drug and alcohol service providers, NAMI of Stark County and consumers of mental health/drug and alcohol services and their families. This specialized training has the following goals:

  • To better prepare police officers to handle crises involving people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders
  • To increase mental health/substance abuse consumer safety
  • To increase law enforcement officer safety
  • To increase the feeling of safety in the general community
  • To make the mental health/drug and alcohol system more understandable, accessible and responsive to law enforcement to the greatest extent possible with community resources
  • To divert persons with mental illness/substance abuse disorders to the mental health/substance abuse system, when appropriate, and not to incarceration

Since 2004, Stark County’s CIT Training program has certified hundreds of officers and first responders. Comprehensive 40-hour courses have been provided twice each calendar year. Law enforcement officers are selected by their Chiefs, Sheriff or their designees to attend this training. Participants should be volunteers and ideally should have good communication and interpersonal skills. The goal for all law enforcement agencies is to have, at a minimum, 25% of their first responders trained.

CIT-trained personnel include the following law enforcement agencies

  • Alliance Police Department
  • Beach City Police Department
  • Canal Fulton Police Department
  • Canton Police Department
  • Hartville Police Department
  • Jackson Twp. Police Department
  • Lawrence Twp. Police Department
  • Louisville Police Department
  • Magnolia Police Department
  • Marlboro Twp. Police Department
  • Massillon Police Department
  • Minerva Police Department
  • North Canton Police Department
  • Perry Twp. Police Department
  • Stark County Sheriff’s Office
  • Uniontown Police Department
  • Waynesburg Police Department
  • Wilmot Police Department
  • Ohio Highway Patrol (Stark/Summit Post)
  • Chaplains: Canton Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dispatchers: Perry Twp. Police Department

College campus security                    

  • Kent State Stark
  • Stark State College
  • University of Mount Union
  • Walsh University

Court/Corrections personnel

  • Canton Municipal Court
  • Ohio Adult Parole
  • Stark County Adult Probation

For more information about Crisis Intervention Team training, please contact Carole Vesley at the Crisis Intervention & Recovery Center at 330-588-2204 Ext. 2135 or carolev@circstark.org or contact Forensic Coordinator Jeannie Cool at 330-430-3947 or Jeannie.Cool@StarkMHAR.org.