Crisis Intervention Team Partnership Produces Results

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training was introduced to Franklin County in 2013, after a team of seven led by Cori Seilhamer (Franklin County Mental Health/Certified CIT Coordinator) completed “Train the Trainer” training in Laurel Highlands.  CIT is a 40-hour, evidence-based training; it focuses on de-escalation skills along with providing psychoeducation in the areas of mental health, IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities), addictions, and resources as they relate to common behaviors that law enforcement may encounter.  But CIT is more than just training, it is a partnership between law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, people and families living with mental health or addiction, and the community.  The goals of the program are to improve the safety of all involved as well as transition individuals from the criminal justice system to the mental health and human service systems, where appropriate.  South Central Crisis Intervention is currently one of about ten programs in the state that provide this specialized resource to the community.  Due to the success of the program, counties all over PA have reached out to our local team, for guidance during their initial steps to implement CIT.

South Central CIT, Current Training Statistics:

  • 11 classes trained with an upcoming scheduled training for April 2021
  • 4 refresher CIT classes scheduled for 2021
  • 181 total individuals trained with 48% being LEOs
  • Disciplines include: Law Enforcement, Adult and Juvenile Probation, Corrections Officers, Dispatchers/DES team members, and Mental Health Professionals

The next logical step was to embed a mental health professional with the local departments.  Partnering with Keystone Rural Health Centers and Franklin/Fulton County MH/IDD/EI, the first Co-Responder, Kay Martin was placed in the Southern Corridor of Franklin County in 2017, serving the boroughs of Greencastle and Waynesboro along with Washington Township.  The Co-Responder/Community Liaison works directly with the departments to support the transition and diversion of individuals to the appropriate resources in hopes of reducing recidivism within the criminal justice system.  This is done through on-scene response with officers, follow up, and linkage with community supports.  

The program expanded again in 2018 with the placement of Jenn Ewing with the Chambersburg Police Department.  To date, the Chambersburg Police Department is 100% officer trained in CIT, also including Chief Camacho, Acting Lt. Greenawalt, and Community Service Officer Arispe.  With this December marking two years in Chambersburg, Jenn would like to thank CPD for their unwavering support and continued commitment to CIT and the community. This program would not be possible without the support of Keystone Rural Health Centers, Franklin/Fulton County MH/IDD/EI, and the departments served!

Current Support Statistics:

  • 1013 unique individuals served
  • 5715 contacts in the community
  • 90% of individuals served have not had repeat contact with LEOs following involvement with the co-responder/community liaison