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CIT celebrates graduates

*MEDIA RELEASE*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael J. Yates             DATE: November 20, 2017 PHONE: 865-719-7221

CIT celebrates graduates

Oak Ridge, TN – Twelve law enforcement personnel graduated from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training on November 17, 2017. The graduates represented Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, and Anderson County Emergency Medical Services.

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 Deputy Chief C. Robin Smith stated in his opening remarks, “Thanks to the 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, 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 200 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.” Buuck added, “CIT is a vital piece of promoting hope, healing, and recovery for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis.” One graduate shared, “One of the best overall courses I have attended. [It] increased my ability to better serve consumers experiencing a crisis,” while another shared, “[The training is] very good and beneficial to the job. [I] learned very useful skills.”

On May 5 of this year, ORPD’s Trae Sweeten received the inaugural East Tennessee CIT Officer of the Year award for having demonstrated extraordinary skill and mastery of the CIT concepts.

*END*

CIT graduates from November 17, 2017
Anderson Co. Sheriff's Dept.
Zach Allen, Zach Bates, Rick H. Coley (not pictured), William Cornett, Ashley C. Davenport, Adam S. Warren, and Mary Ann Young

Anderson Co. Emergency Medical Services
Nathan Sweet

Oak Ridge Police Dept.
Julie Armes, Nate Atkins, Pamela McCarrell, and Alexander J. Velez

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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.