Ofc Matthew Kennedy Named CIT Officer of the Year
The Mental Health & Recovery Board is proud to announce the 2021 Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year awarded by the Portage County Police Chief’s Association is Officer Matthew Kennedy of Brimfield Police. He received the honor for the assistance he gave to a suicidal woman this year.
In the early morning hours of their midnight shift in April, Officer Matthew Kennedy and Officer Carrozzi of Brimfield Police responded to a call of a distraught female standing on the outside ledge of a bridge threatening to jump.
The woman told them she wanted to die. Officer Kennedy began to engage her in conversation in a calm manner and built a rapport with her by asking about her family. He empathized with her and let her know over and over that it would be OK and that he was there to help her through this.
At one point, Officer Kennedy climbed up onto the hood of his cruiser so that he could engage with the woman in a face-to-face manner and keep her focused on him. The officers worked together to secure a sling around her waist to keep her stable until the fire department arrived to help her down.
Chief Ron Mosley recommended Kennedy for the award. “Ofc Kennedy and Carriozi both received a Life Saving Award for their actions on the bridge. I also recommended Officer Matthew Kennedy as a CIT Officer of the Year due to how he approached and engaged with this distraught woman over an extended period of time,” Mosley explained. “He used skills learned and honed through CIT that contributed to bringing this to a successful outcome. Keeping her engaged with him was key, and it was a job well done.”
“Each year we recognize officers for practicing the communication and de-escalation techniques they learned during their CIT training in helping individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis or are struggling with addiction,” explained John Garrity, PhD, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County. “Officer Kennedy clearly demonstrated his commitment to the values of the CIT training and helping residents in need.”
Officer Kennedy received his award during the Portage Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conference held on October 26, 2021.
Officer Matthew Kennedy was named the 2021 CIT Officer of the Year for Portage County pictured at the awards presentation with (from left) Bill Nome, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County Chairman, Ofc Kennedy, Chief Ron Mosely, and John Garrity, executive director, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County.