law enforcement training
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
Stark 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 use 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 StarkMHAR and local law enforcement, 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 use disorders
- To increase mental health/substance use 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 use disorders to the mental health/substance use 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
- Canton Municipal Court
- Ohio Adult Parole
- Stark County Adult Probation
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Award
To be presented annually, the new Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Awards honor people who are advancing best practice in encounters involving people who may be struggling with substance use and/or a mental illness. The CIT awards recognize those who are making a significant positive impact in Stark County efforts to use de-escalation techniques in crisis situations improving the safety of the officer, consumer and family.
Stark County CIT Officer of the Year
Nominees for this award are not only exceptional law enforcement professionals, they exemplify compassion, kindness and demonstrate the values of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. This award is designed for an individual officer who has completed the 40-hour CIT training and has effectively demonstrated his or her CIT field skills leading to positive outcomes for those impacted by behavioral health encounters. Nominations can be made by a fellow officer, another professional, a consumer, an advocate, family member or anyone in the community who can testify to the officer’s use of CIT principles. The Stark County CIT Officer of the Year will automatically be nominated for Ohio CIT Officer of the Year.
CIT Champion of the Year
Nominees for this award are dedicated, persuasive and compassionate advocates for the Stark County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. This award is designed to honor an individual who has gone above and beyond to promote CIT training and principles in Stark County or regionally. A CIT Champion advocates for those living in Stark County who may encounter a CIT-trained officer, effectively works to build partnerships and awareness of CIT within Stark County, works to develop a strong CIT program in Stark County and more. Nominees may be from law enforcement, a behavioral health provider, an advocacy organization, other professions or may be a behavioral health consumer. The Stark County CIT Champion of the Year will automatically be nominated for Ohio CIT Champion of the Year.
Nominations closed on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. View the 2020 award recipients below.
Officer Kelly Crowl, Louisville Police Department CIT Officer of the Year
Judge Taryn Heath, Stark County Court of Common Pleas CIT Champion of the Year
Learn more about the 2020 honorees »
Retired Officer Gibran Baskerville, Canton City Police Department CIT Officer of the Year
Sergeant Craig M. Riley, Canton City Police Department CIT Champion of the Year
Learn more about the 2019 honorees »
Deputy Jeffery McCollister, Stark County Sheriff’s Office CIT Officer of the Year
Sheriff George T. Maier, Stark County Sheriff’s Office CIT Champion of the Year
Learn more about the 2018 honorees »
For more information about Crisis Intervention Team training, please contact StarkMHAR Forensic Coordinator Erin Ivers at 330-430-3973 or Erin.Ivers@StarkMHAR.org.