Fort Bend County has been
recognized with the National Association of County’s achievement award for the
innovative Crisis Intervention Program.
The Crisis Intervention Team
(CIT) is a specialized unit formed within the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office
and funded under federal grants that assists in helping individuals suffering
from mental illness.
The objective of the team is to
work within the mental health provider network by assisting mental health
consumers in crisis in reaching the appropriate care by diverting these
individuals away from incarceration or emergency rooms when possible.
The 10-member team utilizes specialized
training and protocols to assist in these goals, and is involved in training
other first responders within the county in the recognition of mental illness.
“Our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
prioritizes the well-being of our citizens by linking law enforcement with
behavioral health service,” said Sheriff Troy Nehls. “CIT serves as a gateway
to treatment instead of incarceration, improving service to our community while
also reducing costs to taxpayers. CIT routinely resolves crises with
dignity and care, increasing trust with the vulnerable citizens CIT was
designed to serve.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18
different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties
provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county
administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
“Our Crisis Intervention Team is a truly
innovative means to place people into treatment rather than jail whenever
possible based on the circumstances of each intervention,” said Fort Bend
County Judge Bob Hebert. “This award is well deserved testimony that our CIT
team is a valued expansion of our law enforcement response capabilities.”
Members of the Crisis Intervention Team include, Sgt. Jerome
Ellis; Dr. Connie Almeida; Deputy Theo Deaver, Deputy Kathy Drzata, Deputy
Sonia Craig, Capt. Matt Carter; Deputy Michelle Guajardo, Deputy Michael
Steiner, Deputy Gary Kidder, Deputy Alexander Rey, Lt. Scott Soland and Deputy