The Crisis Intervention Team training is free to Portage County law enforcement, behavioral health agency staff or other first responders. You can call the MHRB at 330-673-1756, ext. 201, to sign up or email your information be clicking here. The next 40-hour training will be held in the Fall of 2023.
CIT Training for Law Enforcement Professionals
What is Crisis Intervention Team Training?
Sponsored nationally by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the CIT program trains officers and others to handle incidents involving people who have a mental illness, to manage crisis situations for the safety of everyone involved and to learn about alternatives to jail.
Communication and de-escalation techniques, uses and effects of psychotropic medication, serious emotional problems in children, dual-diagnosis of mental illness and alcohol and drug addiction, alternatives to jail, information about local service providers, are all part of the 40-hour classroom and hands-on CIT training.
The program draws from a collaboration among law enforcement, the Mental Health & Recovery Board and its network of agencies, mental health and recovery professionals, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Portage County, persons who are receiving services for a mental illness and family members.
Statistics from CIT programs across the country have shown that the training reduces injury to officers and others involved in incidents. It also decreases the number of persons in the court system because they can be diverted into community services. The Portage County Chief’s Association has adopted the Crisis Intervention Team Training as a countywide program coordinated by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County with assistance from the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.
The Mental Health & Recovery Board introduced the CIT program in April 2006. There are now more than 250 officers trained. Every police department in the county and the Portage County Sheriff’s Department have staff trained through CIT.
In its job overseeing a system of mental health and recovery services for county residents, the Mental Health & Recovery Board is focusing on coordination that helps support persons in the community with appropriate mental health and recovery services while using funds efficiently to provide quality service. With CIT training, law enforcement professionals collaborate as gatekeepers referring at-risk individuals into services. CIT also lessens the criminalization of persons whose behaviors are driven by mental health disorders.
The end result is to reduce repeat offenses and costs to the courts and law enforcement while helping consumers have stable lives in the community. This does not apply to persons in crisis who are charged with felonies or with crimes of violence unless the victim of the crime agrees to the alternative sentencing.
For information about Portage County CIT, contact Laura at 330-673-1756, ext 201,
or by email.
Portage CIT Annual Awards
2008 Portage & Ohio CIT Officer of Year:
Andy Suvada of Streetsboro Police
2009 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Michquel Penn of Kent State University Police Services
2010 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Jeff Futo of Kent State University Police Services
2011 Portage CIT Officers of the Year:
Lt. Greg Johnson, Portage County Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Dale Korman, Windham Police
2012 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer James Fuller, Kent Police
2013 Portage CIT Officers of the Year:
Sharon Hissom of Robinson Memorial Hospital and William Scritchfield of Kent State University Police Services
2014 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Matthew Butcher, Kent Police
2014 Portage CIT Exemplary
Professional of the Year:
Jeff Langstaff, LICDC-CS, Kent Police, Juvenile Counselor
2015 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Mike Fleming, Kent Police
Officer Ralph Stover,
Kent State University Police
Officer Joshua Bartholomew,
2016 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Dan Kalk, Aurora Police
Officer Stanley Siedlecki, Streetsboro Police
2017 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer John Pettit, Brimfield Police
Officer Anne Spahr, KSU Police
2018 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Bill Atha, KSU Police
Officer Chris Hartlaub, NEOMED Police
Officer Ryan Wolf, Streetsboro Police
2019 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Diane Dudziak, KSU Poluce
Officer Scott Krieger, Ravenna Police
Officer Dominic Poe, Kent Police
2020 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Josh Bartholomew, Streetsboro PD
Officer Matthew Butcher, Kent City PD
Officer Scott Krieger, Ravenna PD
2021 Portage CIT Officer of the Year:
Officer Matthew Kennedy, Brimfield