Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

What is CIT?

Crisis intervention is not a panacea...crisis intervention is to psychotherapy as first aid is to surgery!


CIT stands for Crisis Intervention Team and was developed by the Memphis Police in 1988. The program was prompted by the shooting death of an individual suffering with mental illness. CIT offers a pre-booking alternative to law enforcement.

person crouching in mason jarInitiates a change in the "System" to break the revolving door many are faced with. Norfolk CIT is a partnership between the Norfolk Police Department and the Norfolk Community Services Board. The program is getting stronger as we grow with our community partners: Norfolk Sheriff, Norfolk EOC Dispatch, CHAS Foundation, Norfolk, NAMI, and others.

In Norfolk, CIT is a collaborative effort between the Norfolk Police Department and Norfolk Community Services Board to provide appropriate and timely response to individuals who are experiencing a psychiatric emergency. This is being accomplished through training of the Norfolk Police and coordination with the Emergency Services Department.


In a partnership between law enforcement, the local community services boards, and the communities they serve, a successful CIT program includes members from the community at the onset to ensure the program meets the needs of citizens. By including and understanding community needs, law enforcement and CSBs can provide better service and improve the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness…it's a win - win for everyone!


With a CIT program fully in place, officers trained in dealing with individuals suffering with mental illness have more successful encounters. Putting out more small fires means fewer larger ones. Emphasis is on putting out not putting off providing a support structure law enforcement can draw upon for these situations, partnering with the CSB to improve access to assessments and resources for resolution.


Training is across the board, including dispatchers; didactic training to provide broad base of knowledge about mental illness; experiential exercises; exposure; and practical skill teaching and practice.

Goal of CIT

The goal of CIT is to improve the outcomes of police interactions with people living with mental illnesses, as well as provide these individuals with appropriate access to community resources.