Greetings from the CIT-NJ Center of Excellence!
The CIT-NJ Center of Excellence website is designed to provide a continuous source of information and resources for law enforcement officers, mental health providers and other community stakeholders to assist and support you in developing and expanding the CIT-NJ program in your county. As more counties are initiating the CIT-NJ model, it is our intention to cultivate a statewide CIT-NJ community. We need your help and ask that you share your CIT-NJ experiences with this website so that we can showcase CIT-NJ success stories as well as post your recommendations and/or resources for specific challenges.
To reduce injury or death to officers, family members and individuals who are in psychiatric crisis
To prevent the inappropriate restraint and/or incarceration of individuals with mental illness
To build and sustain a partnership between the law enforcement community and the community mental health system in responding to individuals who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis
To link individuals with mental illness to appropriate treatment and resources in the community
The CIT-NJ Program is a service to your community, so don’t be afraid to use it. Each participating County law enforcement agency has a goal to use a CIT officer when ever possible. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to call law enforcement to intervene with a person experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s okay to request a CIT officer.
Mental health crises are extremely stressful for all parties involved. Some preparation before the crisis and some common-sense actions when the CIT-NJ officer responds to a crisis will help your friend or loved-one get the care needed as soon as possible.
- Keep a current list of medications and doctors’ names
- Keep all guns out of the home.
- Try to participate in any community CIT-NJ programs.
- Educate yourself about your family member’s or friend’s mental illness by requesting information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
When Not in Crisis:
- Find out if CIT-NJ is part of your police department.
- Have CIT-NJ officers stop by your house or go to police station when the CIT officers will be there.
- Get to know your police department.
- Introduce your family member or friend to the police.
For Mental Health Help Resources click here
When in Crisis
- When calling for police assistance, ask for a CIT officer.
- When the CIT-NJ officer arrives, advise them if the person is armed or has access to weapons.
- Offer the CIT-NJ officer current list of medications and doctors’ names when he/she arrives.
- Meet the CIT-NJ officer outside if possible and fully explain the crisis and what you would like to happen.
- Make the CIT-NJ officer(s) aware of anything you know that upsets the person in crisis.
- Be prepared to go to the hospital — but remember all CIT calls do not necessarily mean a trip to the hospital.
- Let your family member know the police are there to help.
*Remember, when weapons are involved, police concentrate on the possible threat of violence first until it is neutralized.
*Understand, the CIT-NJ officer(s) will probably ask you to wait in an area away from the person in a crisis. Let the officer do his job and only offer assistance if asked.