CIT International, Inc.
The CIT International Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Bruno as the organization’s Executive Director. Ron brings to this position a wealth of knowledge and an array of experience in CIT programming and is well known as a presenter to national and international audiences on crisis response system reform.
Ron is a founding board member of CIT International and has served eleven years through two appointments to the Board of Directors, with most recently serving as the organization’s Second Vice President. He has over 25 years of law enforcement experience with a focus on crisis response. As one of the original police representatives to bring CIT to his state, Ron has worked in CIT programming at all levels as a CIT Officer, CIT Investigator, CIT instructor, coordinator, and as a statewide CIT Program Director.
Ron is an appointed member of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) that was established by the 21st Century Cures Act to report to the United States Congress. Ron also brings to this position experience collaborating with other national and international organizations working on criminal justice and behavioral health systems integration. Additionally, Ron brings his experience as the Director of a private organization delivering de-escalation training to law enforcement throughout the United States.
In his new leadership role, Ron will work with the Board of Directors and the organization’s committees to expand programming and services offered by CIT International, while maintaining the organization’s vision and advancing its mission throughout the world. The Board is excited to have Ron fill this role and looks forward to his leadership taking the organization to new heights.
CIT International 1st Vice President Don Kamin (R) is in Huntsville, Alabama this week with Dan Abreu of Policy Research Associates (PRA). CIT International and PRA collaborated (along with NAMI National and IACP) to refine and pilot the Bureau of Justice Assistance VALOR CIT Training Curriculum in four sites (Huntsville, Alamogordo, NM, St. Tammany, LA, and Honolulu).
Included in the BJA-funded program was an initial strategic planning session (including Sequential Intercept Mapping), delivery of CIT Training, and conducting a CIT train-the-trainer program. The last phase of the project includes observing and providing feedback about the first CIT training conducted by the local sites – which is what Don and Dan are doing this week.
Strengthening Families is a program sponsored by Johnson County Mental Health. It is for parents and children who benefit from extra support. Lenexa Police Department is one of the partners and some of the officers have assisted as facilitators. Before each session there is a family dinner.
To read more on this program CLICK HERE.
CIT International is pleased to announce your 2020 Board of Directors Executive Committee. To help you become acquainted with this amazing leadership team, we have included a short introduction on each Director.
Amy Watson, PhD
Amy Watson, PhD joined the board of CIT International in 2016 and previously served as Treasurer (2018-2019). She has worked extensively on issues involving the relationship between the criminal justice system and mental health systems. She is a world-renowned researcher who focuses on police encounters with persons with mental illnesses and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model. Dr. Watson has published extensively on this work and presented findings to local, national and international audiences. She serves on several CIT International committees including Human Resources, Communications/Marketing, Finance/Fundraising, and CIT Programs and Training, Refresher and Accreditation, and Public Policy.
Don Kamin, PhD
1st Vice President
Don Kamin, PhD. was elected to the board of CIT International in 2015. He has served as the 1st Vice President since 2018. Dr. Kamin is a clinical psychologist and a former Police Academy Instructor who helped develop the first CIT program in New York in 2004. As the Director of the Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration, he is leading the effort to create CIT programs across New York State. In addition, over the past year he has worked with CIT programs in Alabama, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Liberia, West Africa. Dr. Kamin has been on several CIT International committees and is currently on the Human Resources and Conference Committees.
Thomas von Hemert
2nd Vice President
Thomas von Hemert was elected to board of CIT International in 2015. He served as Board Secretary from 2016-2018, and in 2018 he was elected to succeed founding Board President Michael Woody and served two terms as President of CIT International (2018-2019). He has been the Thomas Jefferson Area CIT Coordinator (Virginia) since 2006. Since 2009 he has been on the Executive Committee of the Virginia CIT State Coalition and has been a Criminal Justice Training Consultant. As Thomas Jefferson Area CIT Coordinator, Tom has trained over 2,000 law enforcement officers since 2006. His program is the largest CIT program in Virginia, covering 9 localities and the University of Virginia. He has written and been awarded millions of dollars of private/state/federal grants for CIT. He co-wrote the state legislature approved “Essential Elements for Virginia CIT.” He has also been on several CIT International board committees including: International Data/Evaluation Committee, Fundraising Committee, and the committee to develop the CIT Coordinator Certification Program.
Major Darren Ivey
Major Darren Ivey was elected to the board of CIT International in 2017 and previously served as Treasurer in 2018. He served as the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department’s CIT Commander from 2012-2018; was Co-Chair of the Mid-America CIT Council from 2015-2018 and was the Missouri State CIT Self-Care Chair from 2016-2018. In 2014, Ivey led a team that developed a four-hour block of training called “Building Resilience: Surviving Secondary Trauma.” This training helps address the occupational risks of secondary trauma and acute stress and since March 2015, thousands of law enforcement and mental health professionals have completed the course. He serves on several CIT International Committees, including: Conference (co-chair), Finance, Membership, and Human Resources.
John Wallschlaeger was elected to the board of CIT International in 2017. He worked in Law Enforcement for over 22 years, retiring as a Sgt. from the Appleton (WI) Police Department in 2015. In 2004, he became Wisconsin's first "Memphis Model" based Community Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer. John sees CIT as the best model for law enforcement training on crisis response available and has helped develop it, in conjunction with NAMI Fox Valley, throughout Wisconsin. Since 2004, John facilitated more than 30 CIT training sessions in Appleton and elsewhere around the state. John also helped several other WI communities develop their own CIT training initiative. Wisconsin now has more than ten (10) training locations and an estimated 3000 CIT trained officers. In 2010 John was selected as the CIT International CIT Officer of the year. John continues to advance the CIT Initiative throughout WI by serving as part of the State Wide CIT Advisory Committee housed within NAMI Wisconsin and funded through Wisconsin DHS. Since retiring John has been doing homeless outreach for Appleton based Pillars and well as national training on mental health awareness and de-escalation for the National Criminal Justice Training Center. He serves on several CIT International Committees, including: Human Resources, Communications/Marketing, Finance/Fundraising, Membership/Volunteers along with Conference Committees.
Thank you to the 2019 Executive Committee
CIT International wishes to thank Pat Strode and Ron Bruno for their time on the Executive Committee. Pat for her service on the board since 2013 and as Secretary on the Executive Committee for the past two years. We wish her the best of luck as she has timed off the Board, but are extremely thrilled that she will continue to serve on several committees and continue to chair the Membership Committee.
Ron, as a founding Board Member and for his time spent as the 2nd Vice President from 2016 to 2020. Ron continues to serve on several committees including Human Resources, CIT Programs and Training, Governance, Public Policy, and several Conference Committees.
reaching around the globe to spread the word about the benefits of having a robust crisis response systems.
CIT International Board member Don Kamin (New York) and past Secretary Pat Strode (Georgia) are in the Country of Liberia helping to facilitate a CIT trainer course at the Liberian National Police Training Academy in Monrovia.
Carole D. Ballard
CIT International Welcomes New Members to its Board of Directors
CIT International is excited to announce the appointment of three new members to the Board of Directors, Carole Ballard of Ohio, Jenna Mehnert of Maine, and Leah Dunbar of Ontario, Canada. These new directors bring energy, talent and expertise to the working board of CIT International.
Carole Ballard is the Director of Training and Education for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board in Cleveland. She has been a CIT Program Coordinator for over 13 years and has been a member of the CIT Statewide Coalition for the past 12 years. She brings knowledge and experience in working with diverse populations in the community. As an African American, she brings a unique perspective on current challenges specifically within the African American community and its relationship with law enforcement.
Leah Dunbar is a Project Manager/ Supervisor at the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto. She is an active member on the Ontario Provincial Community Crisis Response Models Committee and works directly with the Canadian Mental Health Association; Leah joins the Board as the first director from outside of the United States. This gives her a unique position to help mentor other countries to become CIT International Ambassador’s.
Jenna Mehnert is the CEO of NAMI Maine. As a social worker, an advocate, an agency executive, a policy advocate, and a grant writer- she has worked to advance CIT in several jurisdictions both inside and outside of Maine She received a 2016 Alkermes Inspiration Grant focused on Police Officer Mental Wellness and as part of that effort passed presumptive eligibility for first responders diagnosed with PTSD. Recently, Ms. Mehnert received funding to create a gender-responsive model of CIT for corrections/probation staff working with women in crisis.
Carole, Jenna and Leah join the existing 15 directors: Major Sam Cochran, Dr. Randy Dupont, Tom von Hemert, Dr. Don Kamin, Ron Bruno, Dr. Amy Watson, Officer Kurt Gawrish, Steve Micco, Major Darren Ivey, Dr. Dara Rampersad, Retired Sergeant John Wallschlaeger, Detective Sabrina Taylor and Captain Wade Borchers, Carol Speed and Habsi Kaba to complete the 2020 Board of Directors.
CIT International wishes to thank Pat Strode for her countless hours as a board member and volunteer. Pat has served out her two-term limit and will continue to volunteer for the organization as the chair of the Membership Committee along with participating in several other committees.
To read more on the Board please visit our Leadership page
November 13, 2019 new partnership announced.
CIT International and the Police Treatment and Community Collaborative (PTACC) announced today a partnership to develop strategies to bridge CIT initiatives, SUD deflection and diversion initiatives. Moving forward we will work with PTACC partners to develop resource materials for communities working to address both mental health and substance use disorders, develop comprehensive behavioral health crisis response and treatment services and deflect individuals away from the criminal justice system.
Pictured below is Dr. Amy Watson (CIT International Board member) and Jac Charlier (co-founder of the Police, Treatment and Community (PTAC) Collaborative.)
CIT International Board member Detective Sabrina Taylor (Phoenix, AZ) participated on a panel discussing the new documentary Ernie & Joe. The documentary follows two San Antonio police officers working to divert individuals with mental illnesses to treatment. The panel followed a screening at the Loft Film Festival in Tucson, AZ on November 12, 2019. The film’s broadcast premier on HBO is scheduled for November 19, 2019.
Pictured below left to right are Sgt Jason Winsky with Tucson CIT and the founder of their MHST Team, Judy with NAMI southern AZ, and Sabrina Taylor.
RESEARCH HOT OFF THE PRESS
Former CIT International Board Member Dr Michael Compton and current Board Member Dr Amy Watson in the latest research papers:
A Call to Embrace Our Role at "Intercept 0". (Psychiatry Online)
The Serving Safely literature review and accompanying fact sheet are now available on the Vera website. Two of the three authors are current or former board members. CIT International is honored to play an intricate role in these publications.
You can find the publications here:
Board members, Detective Sabrina Taylor and Captain Wade Borchers, represent at the 2019 IACP Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more nee
ds to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.flyer-40seconds-web.pdf
Crisis Now 2019 Global Conference
2019 Crisis Now Summit
60 leaders from nine countries gathered in Washington, DC to develop an international declaration for better mental health crisis care as part of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) conference.
Five members of the CITI BOD participated: Tom von Hemert, Ron Bruno, Sabrina Taylor, Amy Watson and Steve Miccio participated.
CIT International Board member, Detective Sabrina Talyor, discusses community collaboration in interview on NPR member station KJZZ 91.5:
Phoenix Police Crisis Intervention Team Trainer Aims To 'Build Empathy' For Mental Health Issues
By Lauren Gilger
2nd Vice President Ron Bruno quoted by KSL News
CIT International Board Members at work in Huntsville:
WHNT9 News: Law enforcement participating in Crisis Intervention Team training programs