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Crisis Intervention Team Awards 2023

The Mental Health & Recovery Board is proud to announce the Crisis Intervention Team honors for 2023 awarded by the Portage County Police Chief’s Association. Ptl. Matthew Meyers and Ptl. Brad McDougal, Ravenna Police Department were named Officer of the Year; Ofc Josh Bartholomew, Streetsboro Police Department and Tucker and Ptl. Steve Lincoln, Ravenna Police Department were named CIT Champions of the Year; and Ami Bowery was named Dispatcher of the Year.

“We are extremely proud of all of the officers and the dispatcher who are being honored this year,” stated John Garrity, PhD, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County. “They each have employed the tools they learned during their crisis intervention team training to keep themselves and people with mental illnesses safe in unpredictable situations.”

This past August, Patrolmen Matthew Meyers and Brad McDougal successfully de-escalated a man who was feeling suicidal. The partners responded to a call where a man had barricaded himself inside of his small apartment and was holding a large knife to his neck. It was reported the man overdosed on a bottle of medication and wanted to die. Making the situation extra dire was the fact that his girlfriend was also inside the apartment with him and was unable to safely exit.

Ptl. Meyers and Ptl. McDougal used the skills learned during their CIT training. They were able to gain his trust and eventually talk him into dropping the knife and opening the door. He was then taken to the hospital for treatment.

Officer Josh Bartholomew was named CIT Champion of the Year from the Streetsboro Police Department. Ofc. Bartholomew received this honor for his unwavering commitment and a deep understanding of the principles taught during his CIT training. As the CIT Coordinator for Portage County, Bartholomew educates officers around the county to promote mental health awareness, crisis de-escalation techniques, and community engagement. His actions have had a positive impact on members of the community as well as within Streetsboro’s Police department as he provides additional resources, ideas, and assistance.

Tucker, an Australian labradoodle therapy dog, and his handler, Patrolman Steve Lincoln were named CIT Champion of the Year for the Ravenna Police Department. Tucker joined the department as a pup in the summer of 2022, and in 2023 he and Ofc Lincoln have defused many incidents by their presence and from the CIT training class they took through the Mental Health & Recovery Board in the fall of 2022.

Tucker helps to calm students when he goes to work in the Ravenna City School District. He also helps adults. One of the incidents mentioned was when a woman was upset and did not want to leave her house and go on the ambulance for needed care. Ptl. Lincoln asked the woman if she liked dogs. He told her if she would agree to go on the paramedic’s stretcher, then she would be able to pet Tucker. The woman complied, and Lincoln and Tucker then accompanied her to the emergency room. After spending time with Tucker, the woman’s spirits became more positive, so by the time the hospital staff came to treat her, Tucker and Lincoln were able to leave her in good hands.

The Dispatcher of the Year award was given to Ami Bowery. In January of 2023 Ami took a 911 call from a woman at Sheetz who was suicidal. Ami spent over 4 minutes on the phone with the caller. She was empathetic and created a line of conversation with the caller to put her at ease. Ami obtained all necessary information for responder safety, all while assuring the distressed woman that everything would be okay.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you for your continued service.

1) Ravenna Police Department: Ptl. Matthew Myers, Ami Bowery, Ptl. Brad McDougal, Ptl. Steve Lincoln, Tucker, and Captain Smallwood.

2) Streetsboro Police Department: Chief Patricia Wain and Ofc. Josh Bartholomew

3) John Garrity, exe. director of MHRB shakes Tucker's paw as he and Ptl Lincoln receive their award.


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