CIT celebrates graduates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael J. Yates
DATE: November 12, 2018 PHONE: 865-719-7221
CIT celebrates graduates
Oak Ridge, TN – Twenty-four law enforcement and emergency services personnel graduated from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on November 9, 2018. The graduates represented Alcoa Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Department, Cocke County Sheriff’s Department, Cookeville Police Department, MTSU Police Department, Oak Ridge Fire Department, and Oak Ridge 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.
The East Tennessee CIT Task Force is a partnership between the Oak Ridge Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services, NAMI Oak Ridge, the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services, Youth Villages, Emory Valley Center, and other community health advocates. To date, over 225 law enforcement and emergency services personnel have received training.
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.” Buuck added, “CIT officers play a vital role in keeping the community safe and promoting hope, healing, and recovery for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis.” Former Oak Ridge Deputy Chief Alan Massengill, who helped found East Tennessee CIT, reflected during the ceremony, “This training is one more helpful tool in an officer’s tool box. My hope is that every officer is able to receive this training.”
On May 4 of this year, Lt. Governor Randy McNally presented Rocky Top Police Officer Todd Johnston with the East Tennessee CIT Officer of the Year award for having demonstrated extraordinary skill and mastery of the CIT concepts.
CIT graduates from November 9, 2018
CIT Trainers: Oak Ridge Police Officer Chris Leuthge, Ridgeview’s Jan Cagle, Oak Ridge Police Officer John Kelly
Alcoa Police Department: Keith Fletcher, Cody Russell, Mark Tate, and Rodney Wilson
Anderson County Sheriff’s Department: Adam Bunch, Dustin D. Hensley, Kim Lay, Michael Leach, James C. Owens, Adam J. Shulze, Mark C. Skove, and Edward Young
Blount County Sheriff’s Department: Tristan Hout
Cocke County Sheriff’s Department: Zachary Shelton
Cookeville Police Department: Kyle Ray Farley and Vincent Akira Levy
Middle Tennessee State University Police Department: Mario D. Hussey
Oak Ridge Fire Department: Austin Keathley
Oak Ridge Police Department: Jesse Coots, Larry Dowdell Jr., Stephen Farnell, Kayla Frazier, Randy J. Gibson, Jr., and Landon D. Williams
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.