CIT is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the mental health community to help law enforcement officers handle incidents involving mentally ill people. CIT is a community-based collaboration between law enforcement, NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), mental health consumers, mental health providers and local universities. Police staff receive 32 hours of training in mental illness and the local mental health system. The training is provided free of charge by the mental health community, providers, consumers and family members. The training focuses on providing practical techniques for de-escalating crises. The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Mentally Ill in the Courts (ACMIC) has worked to encourage Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training state-wide.
Crisis Intervention Team programs across the country help direct persons with mental illness into treatment instead of inappropriate incarceration. The training provides practical techniques for de-escalating crises. Officers learn to integrate their police training with some different approaches to a person they believe to have a mental disorder. Role playing is utilized to make the experience as close to reality as possible.
In 2000, the Akron Police Department became the first in Ohio to start a CIT program. The Coordinating Center of Excellence helps to bring CIT to communities across the state.
Currently, Ohio has the most CIT trained police officers in the country. In 2004, the Brunswick Division of Police began training personnel in CIT and currently has 36 CIT-trained staff members.