Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
The Crisis Intervention Team program is a community effort partnering both police officers and the community together for common goals of safety, understanding and service to individuals with mental illness and their families. Officers participate in a 5-day, 40-hour CIT training program. The professional provider community has recognized the need and efficacy of the CIT program and has partnered with law enforcement in providing the most effective training material possible. The training program consists of several classes taught by a variety of instructors including a Psychiatrist, a Substance Abuse Specialist, Social Workers, Police Officers and representatives from NAMI. Panel discussions with service providers from the Community Mental Health Centers are also included. This training prepares officers to safely de-escalate a crisis, determine the need for emergency treatment and get the consumer to professional treatment as quickly as possible.
Since embarking in this program in 2002, more than 2,200 Oklahoma law enforcement officers from 170 different agencies haved been trained by ODMHSAS. A training module has also been created for dispatchers to ensure that they can properly get calls to the CIT Officers that are listed on their roster.
- Crisis response is immediate
- Decrease in arrests and use of force
- Under-served consumers are identified by officers and provided with care
- Officers are better trained and educated in verbal de-escalation techniques
- Officers' injuries during crisis events decline
- Less “victimless” crime arrests
“I love teaching CIT. After almost every class, I get a text, call, or email about an officer who took our training and put it to use within days of the last day of class. It’s amazing to see that this training has a direct, immediate impact on the lives of Oklahomans daily.” - Captain Mark Ohnesorge, Mingo Valley Division, Deputy IMT Commander City of Tulsa Police Department, 13 years of service. CIT in 2016.
"Being a CIT officer is more than just training. It’s a passion. Being able to see someone go from crisis to recovery is the most rewarding experience I have ever had.” - Sgt. Lori Osborn, Oklahoma City Police Department, 22 years of service.
“CIT equips officers with more tools to be able to help people in crisis. We are here to help.” - Sgt. Matt Harden, Edmond Police Department, 23 years of service.
"Of all the training I have had as a law enforcement officer, CIT has been the most useful. I use the techniques and knowledge gained through CIT in my personal and professional life. Law enforcement officers encounter mental health crisis situations daily. CIT training teaches officers to handle those calls with compassion, patience and to think outside the box. CIT training has made me a better officer, supervisor, and guardian in our community.” - Carl A. Pendleton II | Captain | Patrol – Division II | City of Norman Police Department, 12 years of service.
Research shows that communities utilizing the CIT model have higher success rates in resolving serious crisis situations. The program has been cited as helping to reduce inappropriate incarceration of people experiencing mental illness and providing relief to an overburdened criminal justice system.
CIT classes are posted on the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforecement Education and Training (CLEET) Website. To enroll please visit this page.
Law Enforcement Liason