CIT, or Crisis Intervention Team, is a program designed to enhance the response to those suffering from mental illness. The program teaches the necessary skills needed to keep the officer and the consumer safe during interactions, and to make certain that those in crisis receive the appropriate care.
CIT was started in 2001 in Louisville, Kentucky, and in 2007 it was made available to all law enforcement agencies across the state through a grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. That’s when the Owensboro Police Department began implementing this training, and we strive to maintain 100% compliance with CIT.
Annual awards are given for the CIT Officer of the Year for various regions across Kentucky. An Owensboro Police Department member was the award recipient for the River Valley Behavioral Health six-county region during this year’s CIT banquet held in Bowling Green, KY.
The Owensboro Police Department is pleased to note that Officer Rick Latanzio, an 18 year veteran of the department, was recognized for his efforts stemming from a 2017 call for service involving a distraught female. Officer Latanzio responded to the downtown area after hearing that a suicidal female was standing on the ledge of a multi-story building on E. 2nd Street. After nearly 30 minutes of contact with the female, Officer Latanzio was able to gain her trust and talked her to safety.
The next time you meet one of our officers, look for the wings pinned to their uniform. It’s a symbol used by CIT to show that the officer is ready to help.
For more information, visit kentuckycit.com.