Greetings from the NJ CIT Center of Excellence!

The NJ CIT 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 program in your county.   As more counties are initiating the CIT model, it is our intention to cultivate a statewide CIT NJ community. We need your help and ask that you share your CIT experiences with this website so that we can showcase CIT success stories as well as post your recommendations and/or resources for specific challenges.

What are the goals of CIT?

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

Yes, It’s Okay to ASK for a CIT Officer

The CIT 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.

How Can I Help? How Family and Friends Can Assist CIT Officers When a Mental Health Crisis Occurs

Mental health crises are extremely stressful for all parties involved. Some preparation before the crisis and some common-sense actions when the CIT officer responds to a crisis will help your friend or loved-one get the care needed as soon as possible.

To Start:

  1. Keep a current list of medications and doctors’ names
  2. Keep all guns out of the home.
  3. Try to participate in any community CIT programs.
  4. 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:

  1. Find out if CIT is part of your police department.
  2. Have CIT officers stop by your house or go to police station when the CIT officers will be there.
  3. Get to know your police department.
  4. Introduce your family member or friend to the police.

For Mental Health Help Resources click here

When in Crisis

  1. When calling for police assistance, ask for a CIT officer.
  2. When the CIT officer arrives, advise them if the person is armed or has access to weapons.
  3.  Offer the CIT officer current list of medications and doctors’ names when he/she arrives.
  4. Meet the CIT officer outside if possible and fully explain the crisis and what you would like to happen.
  5. Make the CIT officer(s) aware of anything you know that upsets the person in crisis.
  6. Be prepared to go to the hospital — but remember all CIT calls do not necessarily mean a trip to the hospital.
  7. 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 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.