About CIT

About CIT

In 1988, Memphis, Tennessee introduced the first Crisis Intervention Team as a vital component to the community's demand for safer first responder crisis services. Since that time the CIT movement has grown to encompass more than 600 communities nationwide.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, individuals who live with a mental illness and/or addiction disorders, their families, and other advocates. It is an innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training to help persons with mental disorders and/or addictions access medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system due to illness-related behaviors. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individual in crisis.

CIT is a program that provides the foundation necessary to promote community and statewide solutions to assist individuals with a mental illness and/or addictions. The CIT Model reduces both stigma and the need for further involvement with the criminal justice system. CIT provides a forum for effective problem solving regarding the interaction between the criminal justice and mental health care system and creates the context for sustainable change.

Research shows communities that utilize the CIT model have higher success rates in resolving serious crisis situations. For more information, check out CIT International.

Crisis Intervention Teams have been established in several counties throughout the State of Kansas.

Benefits of the CIT Model

  • CIT is community based. As an innovative program, the CIT model encourages communities, families, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to work together.

  • Greater efficiency in obtaining care for persons involved in a mental health crisis.

  • Reduces recidivism and arrests by diverting individuals with a mental illness to appropriate community mental health providers.

  • Enhances officer skills in responding safely and creatively to mental health crisis situations and increases citizen confidence in reporting incidents.

  • Increases collaboration and cooperation between criminal justice and mental health systems.

  • CIT trained officers are incorporated throughout various divisions within local law enforcement agencies.

  • CIT officers help reduce the likelihood of physical confrontations and personal injury to both the officer and the individual.

  • Improves satisfaction from individuals with a mental illness and their family.

"CIT is a mind set. It develops sensitivity and understanding regarding mental illness issues. CIT also emphasizes accountability and responsibility through the specialization of the CIT officers. As a result, mental illness issues are recognized deserving of special needs."

~Ret. Major Sam Cochran, Memphis Police Department.