Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)

A community-based collaboration between law enforcement, mental health agencies, consumers and family members, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC). CIT serves as a pre-booking jail diversion program to train law enforcement officers how to interact with persons during a time of crisis who have a serious mental illness.

Program Contacts

John Osborn
Mecklenburg County Public Health
LCSW, CIT Coordinator and Veteran Specialist, Trauma and Justice Partnerships

Ebony Rao
Mecklenburg County Department of Public Health
LPC, CIT Program Manager, Trauma and Justice Partnerships

Major Daniel Johnson
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office
Office of Professional Compliance

Training Topics

Carefully selected volunteer patrol officers receive Crisis Intervention Team training in a 40-hour certification course where they learn:

  • Recognizing signs of mental illness for persons in crisis

  • Basic diagnosis and medication knowledge

  • Verbal de-escalation skills

  • Community resource information

  • How CIT works and how it fits into each department’s operations

CIT Step by Step

  1. Family member or other person calls 911 for mental health crisis.

  2. Patrol Officer dispatched; if a mental health crisis is identified a CIT officer is called to the scene.

  3. CIT Officer assesses situation utilizing verbal de-escalation and other learned skills then determines best course of action; if more extensive mental health assessment is needed Mobile Crisis can be called to the scene.

  4. Mental health consumer receives appropriate services - coordination with Criminal Justice System maintains accountability.