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The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program was developed in 1988 in response to a tragic incident. In 1987, police officers in Memphis, Tennessee fatally shot a suicidal person who was cutting himself with a knife and who approached the officers while holding the knife. There was a public outcry after the shooting. As a result, a partnership was established between the Memphis Police Department and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Mission      The mission of the Crisis Intervention Team is to use understanding and skills gained through specific training to identify and provide the most effective and compassionate response possible to police situations involving people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Benefits of CIT     Police departments nationwide have experienced significant benefits as a result of using the CIT model:

  • Less need for the use of lethal force

  • Reduction of officer injuries

  • Reduction of injuries to mental health consumers

  • Reduction in SWAT call outs

  • Reduction in time “off patrol”

  • Reduction in civil litigation

  • Reduction in emergency room visits

  • Decrease in involuntary commitments

  • Increase in jail diversion

  • Increase in community relations



Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP)

Due to the success of the CIT Program, a shorter version was implemented - Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP). CIP is offered to anyone working with individuals with a mental illness, i.e. social workers, teachers, emergency room technicians, and correctional officers.


For more information about providing CIT/CIP Training call NAMI Greater Milwaukee at


Working Together.

Implementing Change.


Related Files

CIT (Word Document)

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