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Local First Responders Graduate from Crisis Intervention Team Training Program

Thursday, November 8, 2018 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

20181106_151241CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A graduation ceremony was held at Trinity Point Church of God
on Tuesday for twelve individuals who completed the Crisis Intervention Team training sponsored by the Center for Community Resources.

(Pictured: CIT graduates with Valerie Snyder​ of the Center for Community Resources and Clarion County Commissioners Wayne Brosius and Ed Heasley)

Tuesday’s graduation was held to honor the following individuals, who completed a five-day Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program sponsored by the Center for Community Resources in Clarion:

- Officer Jason Bowen, Knox Borough Police Department
- Officer Joab Orr, Knox Borough Police Department
- Samantha Hite, Center for Community Resources
- Georgianna Carlson, Clarion County Department of Public Safety
- Mathias Smerkar, Clarion County Department of Public Safety
- Michelle Lander, Clarion County Department of Public Safety
- John Buckley, PA Board of Probation and Parole
- Renee Wetzel, PA Board of Probation and Parole
- Lt. Greg Hasley, Armstrong County Jail
- Stephanie Maresch, Emlenton Area Ambulance
- Officer Neil Kemmer, Clarion Borough Police Department
- Officer Shawn Zerfoss, Clarion Borough Police

Clarion County Commissioners Wayne Brosius and Ed Heasley were also in attendance to give their support and officer their congratulations to the program graduates.

Clarion County Commissioners Ed Heasley and Wayne Brosius congratulate Officer Shawn Zerfoss of the Clarion Borough Police on completion of the CIT program.

Clarion County Commissioners Ed Heasley and Wayne Brosius congratulate Officer Shawn Zerfoss of the Clarion Borough Police on completion of the CIT program.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is an innovative program of police-based crisis intervention involving community health care and advocacy partnerships based on a nationally recognized model developed by the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department.

Under the CIT model, law enforcement officers, first responders, and other related professionals receive extensive training provided by community mental health professionals, family and consumer advocates, and experts in related fields in responding to citizens experiencing a behavioral crisis.

Through education of first responders, the program seeks to accomplish the following items:

- Promote officer safety;
- Decrease arrests and use of force;
- Decrease officer injuries;
- Reduce the likelihood of physical confrontations;
- Improve officers’ verbal de-escalation techniques;
- Increase identification of and provide care to underserved individuals;
- Increase officer recognition and appreciation in the community;
- Improve service delivery to persons with mental illnesses;
- Improve collaborations among systems;
- Reduce the stigma and increase the awareness of individuals in crisis; and
- Create a better practice of response to individuals in crisis.

To learn more about the services provided by the Center for Community Resources, follow this link: https://ccrinfo.org.


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