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A group of nearly 30 law enforcement officers, first responders and medical staff graduated from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on Friday, April 14, 2023.

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

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 to both the trained officers, other participants and the community at large,” said Candace Allen, CIT coordinator and senior director of adult intensive mental health services at the McNabb Center. “Graduates can use their training to divert individuals from jail when appropriate and assist them in accessing treatment.”

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 themost needs and fewest resources. Today, the McNabb Center delivers support to more than 43,000 people throughout East Tennessee each year. For more information, visit www.mcnabbcenter.org or call 1-800-255-9711.