More than 160 attendees from across that state attended the annual Ohio Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference Wednesday April 19, 2023, in Columbus. Attendees represented the fields of mental health, criminal justice, law enforcement and advocacy. The event was hosted by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ CCoE) in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Ohio, and supported with funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS).
CIT programs are community-based partnerships comprised of law enforcement, mental health professionals, advocates, people living with mental illness and their families, and other partners to improve community responses to people experiencing mental health crises. Ohio CIT programs follow the Crisis Intervention Team Model first developed in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Core Elements of Ohio Crisis Intervention Team Programs created by the CJ CCoE and its partners.
This year’s CIT conference featured two speakers: Matt Dorgan (Building Bridges for Brianna) and Cory Dobbelaere. Breakout sessions featured a variety of topics including understanding the impact of trauma on youth, mitigating crisis situations in correctional facilities, interacting with individuals experiencing psychosis, assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), CIT program coordination, and de-escalation training for law enforcement.
The annual Ohio CIT Awards were presented at the conference by Lois Hochstetler, assistant director for community treatment services at OhioMHAS, and retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton.
When reflecting on the Ohio CIT Awards, Luke Russell, executive director of NAMI Ohio, states ““The CIT Award winners reflect the work being done each week to bring together law enforcement leaders and personnel to better engage individuals with mental illness and their families. The efforts by Ohio’s CIT program not only helps people in crisis; NAMI Ohio believes it saves lives.”
Over 50 nominations for awards were submitted from community members and CIT partners across Ohio. All nominees and award winners were recognized at this year’s event.
2023 Ohio Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Award Winners
CIT Corrections Professional of the Year
Sergeant Margaret Amadio, Co-CIT Coordinator, Mansfield Correctional Institution
CIT Patrol Officer of the Year
Officer Scott Singleton, Road Patrol with the Fairfield Township Police Department
CIT Program of the Year
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office CIT Co-Responder Program
Evelyn Lundberg Stratton CIT Champion of the Year
Doug Smith, M.D., DLFAPA, County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board
Health Professional of the Year
Phillip Isco, LPCC-S, BHP2, Madison Correctional Institution
Law Enforcement Administrator of the Year
Major Tricia M. White, Lucas County Sheriff’s Office
Michael S. Woody CIT Coordinator of the Year
Officer Joshua Bartholomew, Streetsboro Police Department
Person with Lived Experience of the Year
Carl Etta Capes
Public Safety Telecommunications Professional of the Year
Jill Henderson, Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center
--submitted by Emily Ribnick, Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence