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Crisis Intervention Team

A pre-booking Jail Diversion Program

CIT is a community-based collaboration between law enforcement, mental health agencies, consumers and family members, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).

Law Enforcement Officers are frequently front-line responders to persons in crisis with a serious mental illness. In an effort to better prepare officers to respond to these individuals, a number of communities (more than 500 in the US) have developed a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. These initiatives are modeled after the parent program which began in 1988 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Three Components of CIT Programs:

  1. Intensive training - Police officers and other first responders receive up to 40 hours of training regarding mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and response strategies.
  2. Strong mental health partnerships – Police and mobile crisis workers who respond to people in crisis seek viable options for linking individuals with mental health treatment in lieu of arrest.
  3. Significant mental health consumer and family involvement - Consumer and family advocates are integrally involved in the design and implementation of local CIT programs.


CIT is a specialized law enforcement response to people in a serious mental health crisis.

Carefully selected volunteer patrol officers receive Crisis Intervention Team training in a 40-hour certification course where they learn:
  • Recognizing signs of mental illness for persons in crisis
  • Basic diagnosis and medication knowledge
  • Verbal de-escalation skills
  • Community resource information
  • How CIT works and how it fits into each department’s operations


CIT Step by Step

  1. Family member or other person calls 911 for mental health crisis.
  2. Patrol Officer dispatched; if a mental health crisis is identified a CIT officer is called to the scene.
  3. CIT Officer assesses situation utilizing verbal de-escalation and other learned skills then determines best course of action; if more extensive mental health assessment is needed Mobile Crisis can be called to the scene.
  4. Mental health consumer receives appropriate services - coordination with Criminal Justice System maintains accountability.


CIT Program Contacts

 Ebony Rao, LPC, CIT Coordinator/Licensed Clinician, Trauma and Justice Partnerships,                                     Mecklenburg County Department of Public Health                                                                                                                                   980-314-8617,

Lt. Lucas Veith, Community Wellness Division, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

Major Daniel Johnson, Office of Professional Compliance, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office

Community Partners



Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County Public Health
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211



Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.


Please do not send confidential information via email.