Eighteen CCSO deputies graduated from Crisis Intervention Training (C.I.T.) on Friday.
C.I.T. is a 40-hour course that teaches law enforcement officers the best way to interact with people with mental illness. Deputies learn how to identify people in need of community services and help them connect with those resources. These same skills also help deputies in their daily interactions with the general public.
“The most beneficial part for me personally was being able to visit the care facilities and interact with those individuals in a day-to-day setting as opposed to being called because they are causing problems,” said Everglades Deputy Christopher Tipton. “Recognizing their signs and symptoms is key.”
The training is made possible through a partnership with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Collier County.
“With this group we will have nearly 100 deputies trained in C.I.T.,” said Lt. George Welch, CCSO’s C.I.T. coordinator. “That means we are nearing our goal of having at least one C.I.T.-trained deputy on every shift.”
Graduates say they already recognize the value of the training.
“C.I.T. was an incredible experience. It was an honor to be a part of this training,” said East Naples Deputy Cohen.
Those completing the course are Sgt. Thomas Humann, Cpl. Robert Palmer, Cpl. Alfred Rodriguez, Deputy James Klewicki, Cpl. William Pschigoda, Deputy Anna Cohen, Cpl. Ronald Lussier, Deputy Christopher Tipton, Cpl. Daniel Hernandez, Cpl. Wendell Davis, Cpl. Joseph Wood III, Sgt. Kristen Shiner, Sgt. Christina Fox, Sgt. Nino Arminio, Lt. Joseph Williams, Sgt. Jason O’Connell, Lt. Yolanda Gonzalez and Cpl. Ervin Garriga.