A group of more than two dozen law enforcement officers, first responders and Knox County School staff graduated from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

This graduating class included staff from American Medical Response (AMR), the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, University of Tennessee Police Department, Knox County Schools and the Knoxville Police Department.

CIT trained officers undergo 40 hours of intensive training, which helps them identify mental health resources to assist people in crisis. The training connects officers with mental health professionals and other community agencies to create a team that can provide support when a challenging situation occurs. In addition, officers learn verbal de-escalation skills and experience scenario-based training on responding to crises. 

“CIT training has numerous benefits for both the trained official and the community,” said Candace Allen, CIT coordinator and senior director of adult intensive mental health services at the McNabb Center. “The increased knowledge of behavioral health and skills, such as de-escalation techniques, will help officers when they encounter an individual in psychiatric crisis.”

The McNabb Center is the region’s leading nonprofit provider of mental health, substance use, social and victim services. By focusing on an individual’s “Well Mind, Well Being,” we provide a quality and compassionate approach to care from infancy through adulthood. Since 1948, the Center has proudly served individuals with the most needs and fewest resources. Today, the McNabb Center delivers support to more than 30,000 people throughout East Tennessee each year. For more information, visit www.mcnabbcenter.org or call 1-800-255-9711.