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Celebrating nearly 30 Years of CIT

                    February-March  2016
February - March 2016 Contents

CIT International Conference 
Chicago April 25-27 2016 Chicago IL
Registration now Open

 CIT International Announces a

Start or Improve your CIT Program...
based on the CORE ELEMENTS

This workshop is designed for communities investing in starting a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program or reinvesting as to a second look; an up-close and personal review of the CIT Core Elements. Learn from the master and originator of the Memphis Model, Major (retired) Sam Cochran and other long standing CIT Colleagues as they outline the Core Elements necessary in planning, developing, implementing and sustaining the CIT Model. This team will also help your community identify its readiness for starting a CIT program, pitfalls to avoid and creating a strategic plan for you to take home. This series will be highly interactive with the audience.

No Registration necessary
No Cost
Just plan to attend and come prepared with questions, experiences and ideas

When: Sunday April 24, 2016 from 1 pm - 5 pm
Where: Salon A-5
Who should attend?
Law Enforcement CIT Coordinators
Mental Health CIT Coordinators
Advocate CIT Coordinators

more info:

For Conference-related discussion or comments, both now and at the conference, 
use   #CITIconf  on twitter  

2016 Chicago CIT Conference - Workshop Presentations List
Take a Look and see what's in store for you in Chicago. Don't Miss It!

President's Message
Feb/March 2016
Mike Woody

The 2016 CIT International Conference is just around the corner. This year we have brought in more then the usual number of dynamic speakers to not only "kick things off" at our opening but also to keep you here until the very end of the conference with our closing luncheon. And if you were lucky enough to register early for our very first CIT Coordinator Certification Course before it filled you will be one of eighty people to receive this 8-hour dynamic instructional course being held after our closing ceremony for 4 hours and then an additional 4 hours the next morning.

We are very excited to have former Rhode Island U. S. Representative The Honorable Patrick Kennedy; the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division and the top civil rights prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice Vanita Gupta; Thomas "Tom" Dart the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, who serves as the chief executive of the second largest such department in the United States after Los Angeles; and Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI Ken Duckworth, MD as our keynote and featured speakers among others.

Our "Networking Event"  for Monday evening is quickly filling to capacity. So, you may want to sign up for it ASAP! I know a lot of people were disappointed at a past conference we had because they mistakenly thought they would be able to get tickets to this event once they arrived. Unfortunately it sold out in advance.
You may be aware that our conference is being held at the historic Hilton Downtown, right on Michigan Ave. So, you will be very close to the lake which is across the street, shopping along the "Million Dollar Mile", and trying some of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza or other entrées at the wide assortment of restaurants.

And please stop by the CIT International Booth to say hello and drop off your community's CIT Pin in hopes of it becoming the 2016 Pin of the Year at our Awards Luncheon. We look for the meaning behind the creation of the pin, colors, shape, words, etc. After all, beauty is more than skin deep!

Michael S. Woody

PS: Because the NFL Draft is being held in Chicago the right after our conference ends (April 28th - 30th) hotel rooms are quickly filling up around the city!


The Programs / Training Committee of the CIT International Board of Directors is seeking your input.  We are interested in your experience and thoughts about training that occurs after the initial, week-long training.   We are in the process of developing a list of suggested advanced training topics and have developed a brief survey to gather information. Thanks to those of you that already completed the survey. For those of you that haven't, please take a few minutes and click on the link below and complete the survey.  Thanks for your help.

take the survey at:


Times Herald-Record
Police rescue man threatening to jump from Newburgh-Beacon Bridge
By Michael Randall

Posted Mar. 1, 2016

TOWN OF NEWBURGH (NY) - A 29-year-old man despondent over recent marital and personal problems was talked out of jumping off the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge Monday night.

State police and Town of Newburgh police made initial contact with the man, who had walked to the center of the bridge and was clinging to the outermost railing on the south side, threatening to jump. The troopers and town officers talked to the man until the Troop F   Crisis Intervention Team arrived and took charge of negotiations.

After two and a half hours of conversation, the man was convinced to climb back on to the pedestrian walkway and was taken into custody. Town of Newburgh police took him to Orange Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

Two eastbound lanes of the bridge were closed to traffic while police talked to the man.               article                                            


Body cam video shows police saving a life

Body camera video shows how officers talked a man out of jumping off a bridge. And this comes as Cleveland police have dramatically stepped up training of officers for dealing with people struggling with mental health issues.

See this video: 

Making Policing Safer for Everyone
by Chuck Wexler and Scott Thomson
New York Times Op Ed MARCH 2, 2016

POLICE sergeants routinely tell their officers that their most important job is to make it home safely. And it is no wonder why they dispense this advice. With an estimated 350 million firearms in the United States, officers daily face the threat of gun violence, making this country far more dangerous for the police than countries with tight controls on guns.

Last Saturday's shooting of Ashley Guindon, a police officer in Prince William County in Virginia, is a reminder of how dangerous policing can be. She was shot dead while responding to a domestic violence call on her first day on patrol.

Unfortunately, this sense of ever-present danger has shaped police training, tactics and culture in ways that can lead to responses that are neither proportional nor necessary in situations that don't involve guns. We need to rethink our tactics in such circumstances.

Perhaps the best example is the so-called 21-foot rule. In many police departments, officers are trained to be prepared to shoot if they are within 21 feet of someone with a knife. This can lead to what's known among the police as a "lawful but awful" response.

This is because the legal standard used in police shootings allows prosecutors and grand juries to conclude that although an officer's shooting of a suspect may be questionable, it isn't criminal.

The standard came from a 1989 Supreme Court decision, Graham v. Connor. The justices ruled that an officer's use of force must be "objectively reasonable." But the court went on to caution that "police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation."

Pin worn by CIT Team Members

Alexandria's First Responders
Doing More "Because Every Life Matters"
| Fireman Mike | Old Town Post

How do first responders deal with a person in a crisis situation? How do they deal with someone who is suicidal? How do they handle substance abuse users? How would they handle a person with a psychiatric disorder? Do fire and police get any special training? If so, what sort of training do they receive? This article, containing links and excerpts from various city and other government web sites, will show some of the training that many first responders and other city employees have voluntarily taken to better enable them to handle crisis situations.

Michael Kohrt, a Paramedic and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) member for Alexandria, stated that the City of Alexandria has made a substantial commitment to Crisis Intervention Training over the years and now have over 400 employees trained.

Kohrt went on to say that the Alexandria Professional Medics Association (APMA) is extremely pleased to have several members acknowledged for their work as Crisis Intervention Team medics with the Alexandria Fire Department. Many APMA members have taken this voluntary week-long training. They agree that the additional skills and knowledge greatly enhance the service provided for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Fay Observer 

Hearing voices simulation helps officers learn about mental illness
by Monica Vendituoli  Mar 1, 2016

Wayne Cannon said he loves watching the confusion that falls over faces of police officers and paramedics as they hear voices for the first time.

"It's the same look as with the schizophrenia patients I've worked with," the psychologist with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.

Last week they were hearing them in an auditory hallucination simulation led by Cannon. It was part of the 40-hour Fayetteville-Cumberland County Crisis Intervention Team certification program. The weeklong class, part of a program that started in 2009, is held at the Cumberland County Detention Center and involves several agencies, from county deputies to city police to college and school campus police...

During the recent simulation, participants put on earphones and listened to a tape of voices similar to what those suffering from schizophrenia and other delusional disorders might hear.

After putting on the earphones, participants were asked to complete a number of tasks. They included arranging toothpicks in geometric patterns, recalling items placed on a table and talking with an officer about a robbery video.

William Robbins, a patrol officer with the Fayetteville Police Department, said he struggled with the tasks.

"You can't devote your attention to one thing," Robbins said.

He said the simulation helped him empathize with people who have mental illness...

**One minute video of officers attempting to complete tasks while hearing voices.

Chicago Tribune Suburbs
Lake County News Sun
Mental health training teaches police new response strategies

"...those from the Lake County sheriff's office who have taken the classes found it well worth the time."
"They rave about it..."

Lake County Illinois Undersheriff Ray Rose said he believes when officers encounter suspects with potential mental health issues it's like approaching a fork in the road.

A left turn could result in the suspect going to jail, or, even worse, an officer-involved shooting.

A right turn, however, could lead to programs that provide long-term treatment to help break the cycle of incarceration, release and return to jail, a hallmark of untreated mental illness, Rose said.

But most officers, Rose said, aren't trained to recognize the signs and triggers of mental illnesses, a skill that can defuse situations with the potential to turn violent - or even deadly.

"If you don't know about autism, for example - what triggers actions and responses - you may end up shooting or hurting people who have a mental condition," Rose said. "Our goal is to train all law enforcement in Lake County to be part of our Crisis Intervention Team."

That training has already begun at College of Lake County...

February 01, 2016
Chicago Police to Receive New Training on How to Assist Mentally Ill

by Lauren Porter

"Crisis Intervention Team" will provide a 40-hour training course to 2,800 officers, 12,000 cops will receive training on mental health awareness and 911 dispatchers will be taught how to better decipher situations that require crisis-intervention tactics.
The new crisis reform will teach officers about the best ways to deescalate situations for those in crisis, Huffington Post reports.


U.S. Dept of Justice Investigative Reports on police organizations 

"To assist in further development of a Memphis Model CIT program, BHU, training staff, and ECIT officers should be encouraged to attend the CIT International Conference, to the extent possible, April 25-27, 2016 in Chicago "

More U.S. Dept of Justice Reports:

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A better way to interact with persons with mental illness in crisis

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 celebrating over 25 years of  CIT

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