Crisis Intervention Training lisadanford April 15, 2024

Crisis Intervention Training

Every year, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services partners with local law enforcement agencies to host Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.  

This training emphasizes behavioral health-related topics, access to community-based services, de-escalation tactics, and crisis resolution skills. “It provides officers with more information about our population, and the degree of difficulty at different times,” said Hans Van Rheenen, a service and support administrator on the multi-system team.

“CIT training helps us better collaborate with each other. If law enforcement has to respond to a situation, they are a little more familiar with what they may encounter.”

Last fall, Chris Newsome, a police officer in Sharonville, and Aissata Bocoum, a corrections officer, participated in the crisis intervention training. They shadowed Van Rheenen to learn more about people with developmental disabilities.

“For a first responder to walk into a situation not knowing anything, it can be pretty ill advised,” Van Rheenen said. “It’s not safe for the individual. It’s not safe for the responding people, and it could get a lot worse that what it needs to be.”

Crisis intervention training builds upon other first responder sessions led by the HCDDS Behavior Support and Major Unusual Incident and Prevention teams. During the job shadowing, they visited people on Van Rheenen’s caseload, met providers, and sat in on calls with other criminal justice professionals.

Both Newsome and Bocoum said it helped them better understand people in the community and how developmental disabilities and mental health issues may co-exist.

Bocoum chose HCDDS to gain experience outside of the county jail. “My favorite part was meeting the people,” she said. “You get to talk to them and learn how they see the world.”

Newsome said the training and shadowing was eye opening for him. “It definitely sheds light on just slowing down and looking at the situation,” he said. “You understand that it’s a human being asking for help and someone to understand them.”

Both Bocoum and Newsome said they would handle certain situations differently after the training.

“It gives a little more of a broad perspective of who you may run into—a lot of people have extensive trauma histories,” Van Rheenen said. “It also helps us develop a better relationship with the different police officers and districts.”

If you have questions about Crisis Intervention Team training or shadowing opportunities, please reach out to SSA Hans Van Rheenen via email.

A police officer, left, disability case worker, center, and corrections officer, right, outside a building. The photo is after a crisis intervention training to improve safety.

Sharonville police officer Chris Newsome, left, Service & Support Administrator Hans Van Rheenen, and corrections officer Aissata Bocoum after the job shadowing day of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training in fall 2023.