Officer Completes Training to Respond to Mental Health Crises

How do you calm someone down when they’re in the midst of a mental health crisis?

Lt. Shawn Parker of the NEOMED police was among a group of 20 officers from various agencies and institutions across Portage County who recently participated in a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training to learn those skills.  

All full-time NEOMED police officers take this training, which teaches them valuable skills to recognize and respond to mental health crises. “We use these skills often. I’m incredibly proud of how our officers have utilized these skills in a variety of situations both on and off campus,” said Kali Williams, director of Public Safety and chief of police at NEOMED. 

De-escalation training helps officers recognize the warning signs of a psychiatric crisis. Much of it involves listening, according to an article in the Record-Courier June 13. 

De-criminalizing mental illness

CIT program goals are related to the overall mission of the Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ CCoE), established at NEOMED in 2001 to promote jail diversion alternatives for people with mental illness throughout Ohio. The CJ CCoE provides program resources to spread the CIT model statewide. 

Anyone interested in learning more about Ohio CIT Coordination may contact Ashley Eads at  

Photo: NEOMED police officers participating in CIT training in 2017

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