Crisis Intervention Team

Crisis Intervention Team Information
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is made up of officers who have completed 40 hours of specialized training in mental illness and crisis intervention techniques. The CIT program, which was formed in 2007, is coordinated by the Durham Center and the Durham County National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Officers graduating from the CIT program have completed training in specialized areas including:
  • Suicide risk assessment and intervention
  • Law enforcement deescalation techniques
  • Homeless population and mental illness
  • Developmental disabilities (including autism)
  • Special concerns with adolescents
Crisis Intervention Team Mission
The CIT goal is to keep people with serious mental illness out of the criminal justice system for misdemeanor charges. People with mental illness are arrested more frequently and spend longer time in jail than the average citizen. Jails are not mental health institutions and are not properly equipped to handle this population. The team's mission is to give arresting officers more options when dealing with persons with mental illness. The preference would be to connect persons with serious mental illness to treatment rather than have them incarcerated.

Crisis Intervention Team Program Overview
The CIT Program:
  • Is a partnership with mental health, consumer advocacy and law enforcement agencies
  • Provides 40 hours of specialized training to sworn law enforcement officers
  • Decreases the incidents of incarceration of persons with mental illness for misdemeanor charges
  • Connects persons in mental health crisis to appropriate mental health services rather than the criminal justice system
  • Decreases officer injury rates
  • Decreases use-of-force occurrences
  • Decreases consumer injury rates
  • Creates an earlier opportunity to engage consumers in mental health services
The Durham Police Department has more than 275 CIT program trained officers and there are officers with CIT training in 4 other local law enforcement agencies. The team also has provided technical assistance to Orange and Alamance counties. The team is committed to providing support for any county in North Carolina that expresses an interest in the CIT program.