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Officer Butcher CIT Officer of the Year

Kent City Police Officer Matthew Butcher was named the 2022 Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year.

Ofc. Butcher was nominated for helping a suicidal intoxicated male with a gun and a self-inflicted hand injury. He spoke to him for close to two hours and was able to gain trust and eventually disarm the man so he could receive the medical and psychiatric treatment that he needed.

“There were many other calls in which Ofc. Butcher has deescalated over the past year, but this call for service was above and beyond for another job well done,” said Kent City Police Chief Nicholas Shearer.

This is the third time Ofc. Butcher received this honor from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and the Portage County Police Chief’s Association. He also received it in 2014 and 2020.

“Throughout the course of my career, Officer Butcher is without a doubt the best CIT officer I have ever worked with,” stated Shearer. “He takes time when dealing with people experiencing mental health crises and shows an immense amount of compassion. It is evident in his interaction in the situations that Officer Butcher really cares and wants to help people.”

“Because of these facts, it is no surprise that he has been recognized three times during his career as the Portage County CIT officer of the year,” Shearer continued. “Matt has also communicated his intent to retire in 2023. Although we will be sad to see him go, I cannot think of a better way to honor him in his last full year than to see him win this award for the third time!”

Each year officers are recognized for practicing the communication and de-escalation techniques they learned during their CIT training in dealing with individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis or are struggling with addiction.

“The Board is proud to join together with law enforcement to honor the officers who are using the tools to keep themselves and the persons with mental illness safe in unpredictable situations.” John Garrity, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County. “Congratulations to Officer Butcher.”

Since 2006, more than 250 officers have completed the class in Portage County. Every law enforcement agency in the county has CIT officers. The course is supported nationwide by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Officer Matthew Butcher received the 2022 Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year Award at the Portage Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conference. Pictured from left: William Nome, Mental Health & Recovery Board; Officer Matthew Butcher, Kent City Police; Dr. John Garrity, Mental Health & Recovery Board; Chief Nick Shearer.

Officer Butcher’s family was present as he received his 3rd CIT Officer of the Year Award of his career.


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