CIT is a collaborative effort between the law enforcement and mental health communities of Portage County. It is designed to help law enforcement officers handle incidents involving persons who suffer from mental illness. CIT is a community-based collaboration between law enforcement, NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), mental health consumers, mental health providers, the Mental Health & Recovery Board and Kent State University. Patrol Officers receive 40 hours of training in mental illness and the local mental health community, providers, consumers and family members. The training focuses on providing practical techniques for recognition of persons suffering from mental illness, de-escalating crises, referral to services, and follow-up. The Supreme Court of OhioAdvisory Committee on Mentally Ill in the Courts (ACMIC) has worked to encourage Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training state-wide.
Officers completing the CIT training program help direct persons with mental illness into treatment instead of inappropriate incarceration. The training provides practical techniques for de-escalation, and officers learn to integrate their police training with 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.