Crisis Intervention Team celebrates graduates


DATE: May 2, 2016 PHONE: 865-719-7221

Crisis Intervention Team Celebrates Graduates

Oak Ridge, TN – Twenty-six law enforcement personnel graduated from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on April 29, 2016. The graduates represented Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, Knox Co. Sheriff’s Office, and Franklin Police Department.

CIT is an innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention with community, health care, and advocacy partnerships. CIT provides 40 hours of specialized training for problem solving and de-escalating crisis situations with individuals who have a mental illness. Studies show it also improves the safety of patrol officers, consumers, family members, and citizens within the community.

Oak Ridge Police Department’s Chief James Akagi stated in his opening remarks, “Thanks to the partnership between the Oak Ridge City Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Ridgeview Behavioral Health, NAMI Oak Ridge, the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, and other community health advocates, our community has better equipped itself with first responders who have an effective set of communication and problem solving skills.” To date, the East Tennessee Crisis Intervention Team has trained over 160 law enforcement personnel.

During the graduation ceremony, Brian Buuck, Ridgeview CEO, emphasized the words of CIT founder, Major Sam Cochran, “the program’s success is as much about changing hearts as it is about changing minds.” One graduate shared, “This was an excellent and thorough training – I’m proud to be part of CIT,” while another shared, “Every law enforcement officer needs this training.”


Photograph - Front Row left to right: Kory Blevins, ACSD; Linda Newton, ACSD; Jerry Lacey, KCSO; Rodolfo Estrada, ORPD; Thomas Arnhart, ORPD; and John Ailor, ORPD
Second row left to right: Helen Reynolds, ACSD; Jason Wills, ACSD; Sam Hensley, ACSD; Kenny Prickett, ORPD; Douglas Burchfield, ORPD; and Christopher Wallace, ORPD
Third Row left to right: Mark Bolton, ACSD; James Anthony, ACSD; Kevin Merritt, ORPD; and Olivia Sloan, ACSD
Fourth Row left to right: Tami Crowe, Franklin PD; Robert Cook, KCSO; Shawn Williams, ACSD; Jolene Scott, ACSD; and Ron Chaperon, KCSO
Back Row, left to right:; Amy Butler, Franklin PD;; Ryan Frazier, Franklin PD; Lucas Shoffner, ACSD; James Presson, ACSD; and TJ Solomon, KCSO
Michael Yates is the Director of Development at Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services
Ridgeview is a private, not for profit community mental health center with locations in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties.