Tuscarawas News Detail
Kent State University Police Services Receives CIT Program of the Year AwardPosted Feb. 24, 2014
Kent State University Police Services received the 2013 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program of the Year Award. The award was presented by Attorney General Mike DeWine at the CIT Advanced Training Conference in Columbus, Ohio. CIT is a specialized training program in which law enforcement officers are educated about mental illness and substance abuse, and learn skills to de-escalate certain individuals in crisis situations. Accepting the award on behalf of the team was Kent State Police Chief John Peach.
“This award is our way of publicly expressing our appreciation to the Kent State University Police Crisis Intervention Team team for exemplifying how to best respond to mental health crises. Their commitment to helping those in their community with mental illness has a profound impact not only on those individuals, but on their loved ones and the members of the community at large,” says Terry Russell, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio).
The Kent State Police Service first began its Crisis Intervention Team program in 2007. The Kent State Police Services’ effectiveness at diverting members of the population to mental health services has earned the appreciation of the entire Kent State community. The university also has dedicated additional resources to further meet the needs of individuals in crisis, including efforts around mental health, such as the “Step Up and Speak Out” campaign, which focuses on students’ emotional well-being.
“Kent State University Police Services’ approach to Crisis Intervention Team is exactly what was envisioned by the founders of Crisis Intervention Teams in Memphis 20 years ago,” says Mark Munetz, director of the Ohio Criminal Justice Center of Coordinating Excellence.
The first Crisis Intervention Team program began in Memphis, Tenn., in 1988, in response to the shooting death a year earlier of a 27-year-old man with mental illness in an incident with the Memphis Police Department. This shooting outraged the community, and from this community crisis emerged a new way of doing business for both the police and mental health community.
“Today, law enforcement, mental health professionals and advocates are collaborating in communities throughout Ohio to provide training to help police officers identify and respond to calls involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis,” Munetz says.
For more information about Kent State Police Services, visit www.kent.edu/police.