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West Side Police News & Notes

11/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Norton Police officer receives CIT Officer of Year award

Norton Police Officer Brett McShane, at left, accepts his Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year award from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Photo courtesy of NAMI Ohio
COLUMBUS — Patrolman Brett McShane, of the Norton Police Department, received the 2013 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer of the Year Award. The award was presented by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Oct. 28 at the CIT Advanced Training Conference.

CIT is a specialized training program in which law enforcement officers are educated about mental illness and substance abuse and learn skills to de-escalate certain individuals in crisis situations.

“This award is our way of publicly expressing our appreciation to Brett for serving as a role model for CIT Officers around Ohio,” said Terry Russell, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio). “His commitment to helping those in his community with mental illness has a profound impact not only on those individuals, but on their loved ones and the members of the community at large.”

According to Det. John Canterbury, CIT coordinator for the Norton Police Department, McShane was able to use his CIT training skills to talk a man down from his roof, where he was threatening to commit suicide, and transport him to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment.

“Brett’s approach to CIT is exactly what was envisioned by the founders of Crisis Intervention Teams in Memphis 20 years ago,” said Mark Munetz, director of the Ohio Criminal Justice Center of Coordinating Excellence.

The first CIT program began in Memphis, Tenn., in 1988 in response to the shooting death a year earlier of a 27-year-old man with mental illness in an incident with the Memphis Police Department.

“Today, law enforcement, mental health professionals and advocates are collaborating in communities throughout Ohio to provide training to help police officers identify and respond to calls involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis,” Munetz said.

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