News & Stories

De-Escalating a Crisis

How do you calm someone down when they’re in the midst of a mental health crisis?

A group of 20 officers from various agencies and institutions across Portage County recently participated in a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training to learn those skills.    

De-escalation training helps officers recognize the warning signs of a psychiatric crisis. Much of it involves listening, according to an article in the Record-Courier June 13. 

The Streetsboro Police Department’s former CIT training coordinator, Police Sgt. Andy Suvada, told the Record-Courier about a time when he applied his training. 

“This lady, when I walked in, had two butcher knives in her hands,” he said. “She was sitting in front of a bunch of potatoes and she was irate. She was screaming about her husband. So I got in there and using the concepts, /thinking outside the box, I sat down not more than, probably, 5 to 10 feet from her and just started talking to her. After a good half-hour, 45 minutes, she seemed to calm down enough to get her to walk out to the ambulance and go to the hospital.”

Providing statewide resources

NEOMED’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence provides program resources to spread the CIT model statewide. 

New to Ohio CIT Coordination? Contact Ashley Eads at to receive The CIT Model of Collaboration between Law Enforcement and Mental Health book, Ohio CIT DVD, and information on how to be added to the statewide CIT Coordinator email list.

Read the full Record-Courier story.