Editor’s Note: Franklin County Ohio Sheriff’s Office was one of nine sites chosen nationally for this training. For more information on Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), please go to CIT International, Inc. Thank you. Click on images for larger view.
Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (Retired) keynoted the first Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) graduation ceremony for a sheriff’s office in the state of Ohio.
The CIT training was hosted by Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and the Ohio Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Corrections Division.
Retired Justice Stratton is a state and national advocate and spokesperson for CIT. She wanted to share the following with you:
I just had to share something with you that makes our work all worth while. This will also give you an update on what is happening in Franklin County Ohio.
I was invited by Sheriff Zach Scott to speak to the graduation for the CIT officers who went through a week’s training put on by the National Institute of Corrections for Jail Personnel.
The NIC flew in the trainers as well as professional actors for the scenarios.
The sheriff had over 100 deputies apply to take the training, but only had room for 28 plus the 6 from the other two counties!
It was good to see two representative from the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADHAM) there as well.
The sheriff opened the ceremony by giving credit to the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the local team for selecting his county as one of the 6 nationally and for coming in and doing the leg work and research.
I stayed after for the reception and talked to several of the deputies and these were some of the comments:
-best training I’ve ever had as a deputy
-totally changed how I am now going to look at my job
-I hated training scenarios. There’s always someone I knew playing the role. Having professional actors come made it so real. I found myself wanting to see the next scenario.
-The scenario was so real that I had a flashback to an identical situation I had faced in jail
-I now learned there are other ways to deal with the situation
-I learned so much about specialty dockets and resources in the community that I did not know existed
-putting the headset on and listening to the voices while trying to obey commands gave me such insight as to what mentally ill people face
-I now understand so much better why they act the way they do. I know now that they are not trying to just act out to be difficult
-this will so change how I deal with defendants instead of just trying to be in control
-and many similar comments……..
I met the new Franklin County Sheriff Office CIT coordinator officer. Sgt. Shannon Beaudry She said she has a sister who is mentally ill, was a cutter, and into drugs and alcohol.
Her sister went through Judge Scott VanDerKarr’s Franklin County mental health court seven years ago and has been clean and sober and stable since. The officer is now very passionate about her new role.
I also learned in talking to the ADHAM board folks that even though they have applied for a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant for transitional housing and linkage teams, they have decided to go ahead using local dollars and start anyway. They are also going to apply for the community innovation grant just released.
60 Minutes has been in that week filming the Franklin County specialty dockets. The Franklin County common pleas court also just hired a new probation chief from Cuyahoga County.
Geoff Stobart is the Chief Deputy in charge of Corrections and Court Services for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus, Ohio.
Chief Deputy Stobart said this class would not have happened without CSG and their help. It was so rewarding to see all the progress and how excited the graduates were about the training.
I told him we were going to be recommending people to visit Franklin County to see a program in action as we expand statewide!
Thank you for all the work you have done in Ohio.
Evelyn Lundberg Stratton