A CIT certified police officer or first responder is an individual that has received highly specialized 40-hour training in how to interact with and de-escalate people experiencing a mental health or substance use related crisis. Police, EMS, dispatch, and other crisis workers are eligible to become CIT certified.
CIT is not a required police training. Not every person is suited for crisis intervention work. People who want to become CIT certified are passionate about helping folks within their community. They have good communication skills, and are often looked to for crisis resolution. Sometimes they have a personal connection to the behavioral health community, and are often known for their tactical empathy.
Knowing if your police department has a CIT team and requesting that a CIT officer respond during a crisis can minimize the trauma experienced by both the person experiencing the crisis and first responders. Ask dispatch to “send a CIT officer” if someone is experiencing a mental health or substance use related crisis.
If your police department doesn’t have a CIT team or CIT certified officers, contact one the regional CIT coordinators. The coordinator will reach out to the leadership team in your city to offer training and support for CIT development.
Connect with our regional CIT coordinators to find out how you can be part of the local CIT steering committees leading the crisis response in your community.