Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence



On July 20, 2020 arranged by WKSU Radio, Officer Jeff Futo, Kent State University Police Services/Law Enforcement Liaison for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence, Lisa Marie Griffin, Member of the BeST Center’s Consumer Advisory Council, and Ruth H. Simera, Executive Director of the Department of Psychiatry’s Coordinating Centers of Excellence at Northeast Ohio Medical University, shared airtime to discuss CIT and law enforcement’s role in mental health calls. To listen to the talk, visit WKSU.

On July 1, 2020 a column in the Norwalk Reflector highlighted on the way Huron County’s law enforcement addresses individuals with behavioral health concerns.  To read the column, visit the Norwalk Reflector.

On June 30, 2020 a column in the Mansfield News Journal highlighted on an agreement between police and community members.  To read the column, visit the Mansfield News Journal.

Forty-nine Ohio law enforcement officers were recognized for 20 years of service as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers last week. Each officer received a certificate of appreciation signed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a special commemorative 20-year CIT pin and a letter of gratitude from leadership of the partners that advance and support CIT in Ohio: the Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ CCoE), the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS).

“CIT programs are collaborative efforts between law enforcement and mental health systems to help officers direct people with mental illness to treatment instead of unnecessary incarceration. The forty-hour CIT training provides practical techniques for safely de-escalating mental health crises. Officers learn to integrate some different approaches with their police training when responding to a person they believe to have a mental illness,” says Michael S. Woody, a retired Akron Police Department lieutenant and past president of CIT International.

Lt. Woody and Mark Munetz, M.D., Northeast Ohio Medical University professor and chair emeritus of psychiatry, were the lead proponents of bringing CIT to Ohio in 2000. “From just two counties with CIT programs in 2000, we reached an incredible milestone about a year ago. Today all 88 Ohio counties have trained CIT officers. In addition, more than 16,000 professionals have been trained throughout Ohio, of which nearly 12,000 are sworn law enforcement officers,” says Dr. Munetz.

Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Evelyn Lundberg Stratton played a key role in spreading CIT throughout Ohio. “We are all so grateful to these officers for volunteering to serve as Ohio’s first CIT officers and for setting examples of dedication and professionalism for the many others who followed. So many individuals with mental illness, their families and friends and their communities rely on CIT officers to ensure safe, compassionate interactions and access to mental health care throughout the recovery process,” says Justice Stratton.

Of the 80 officers who completed one of the three CIT training courses held in Ohio in 2000 – two in Summit and one in Lucas County – 49 (61 percent) remain active with CIT today: 27 across seven jurisdictions in Summit County, 18 in Toledo (Lucas County), two in Hancock County (one each in Findlay P.D. and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office) and two in Lancaster P.D. (Fairfield County).

“Today, CIT in Ohio is truly more than training; it is a community partnership. The CJ CCoE and NAMI Ohio are pleased to partner in providing technical assistance and guidance to promote implementation and expansion of CIT in Ohio, and are grateful to our many partners and supporters,” says Ruth H. Simera, executive director of the NEOMED Coordinating Centers of Excellence, and Terry Russell, executive director of NAMI Ohio. “Lt. Woody, Dr. Munetz and Justice Stratton continue to be passionate CIT champions. Other CIT partners include the Office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, the Office of Criminal Justice Services, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and many others.”

95.3 WKTN: Hancock County Officers Recognized for 20 Years of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Service – May 20, 2020

The Courier: Hancock County Local officers honored – May, 29 2020

On May 10, 2020 a guest column in recognized the police-mental health partnership occurring in Ohio and Captain Purcell.  To read the column, visit

On December 23, 2019 WOSU Public Media recognized the collaboration between Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, and Netcare’s mobile crisis response.  To read the article, visit WOSU Public Media.

On June 13, 2019 arranged by WOSU Radio, Michael Woody, Ohio CIT Coordinator/Law Enforcement Liaison for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence, shared airtime with Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Project Director for Ohio Stepping Up Initiative, to discuss CIT and Ohio’s Stepping Up Initiative. To listen to the talk, visit WOSU.


Phone: 330.325.6670

Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence

NEOMED Coordinating Center of Excellence