Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) was developed in 1988 by the Memphis Police Department after the shooting of a person with diagnosed mental illness. After the shooting, MPD, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the University of Tennessee Medical School collaborated on a program to address police encounters with those with mental illness in the community.

“CIT is a program that provides the foundation necessary to promote community and statewide solutions to assist individuals with a mental illness and/or addictions. The CIT Model reduces both stigma and the need for further involvement with the criminal justice system. CIT provides a forum for effective problem solving regarding the interaction between the criminal justice and mental health care system and creates the context for sustainable change.” – CIT International 2018

In 2017 the agency committed to a pledge to improve our response to those suffering from mental illness in Buffalo Grove. This initiative is called the “One Mind” campaign and was started by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The department is currently in the process of certifying all sworn officers in CIT as part of the “One Mind” Campaign. As of December 2018, the department is 80% in compliance. 

CIT Officers are assigned to various parts of our agency including all three patrol shifts and our schools. In addition, one can find a CIT officer assigned to almost every specialty unit. At minimum, each CIT officer attends a 40 hour training course which covers an overview of mental illness and specific de-escalation strategies. More often, CIT officers are motivated to pursue more in-depth training pertaining to crisis intervention and mental health, resulting in a better-rounded CIT program. 

When our dispatch center receives a 911 call involving someone who may be in crisis due to some form of mental illness, the dispatcher will attempt to assign a CIT officer to accompany other responding officers to the call. The department has worked with its dispatch center (Northwest Central Dispatch) in identifying those officers with CIT training credentials. Once at the location, CIT officers will work with the person and/or family to connect them with the services they need, especially if they will not immediately be transported to the hospital.