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Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)



Mental illness is something that almost every person has or will have some experience with throughout their life whether they personally suffer from a form of mental illness or encounter it through a family member or other acquaintance. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2021, more than 1 in 5 adults were diagnosed with a mental illness. Roughly half of those living with mental illness are not receiving proper treatment. This has been a leading factor with some of the biggest concerns facing law enforcement today.

We have deputies called out to critical incidents involving individuals that may be unable to communicate or control their actions due to their mental states and lack of appropriate medication. Individuals in a dissociative or fugue state may behave in a combative manner when approached by law enforcement and not realize what they are doing. This can lead to injuries to all parties and can cause the individual's mental state to deteriorate even more when taken into custody.

Currently there are more individuals with mental illnesses in jails and prisons than in mental health facilities. As of February 2024, 297 individuals in Missouri jails have been found unfit or incompetent to stand trial due to mental illness and are awaiting placement in a mental health facility. These individuals will spend an average of at least 8 months on a waiting list before they can be transferred to an available bed in a mental health facility. Numerous investigations across the nation have found that individuals are spending more time in jails awaiting placement in mental health facilities than they would have spent if they had simply been convicted of the crime.

While Missouri has implemented a new jail-based competency restoration law and worked with the Department of Mental Health to cut the wait times for placement in mental health facilities, a lot of jails are still unable to properly provide for those with mental health illnesses. As of October 2023, only 57% of the jails in Missouri had the ability to provide the required antipsychotics and other medications. Another approach that Missouri has taken to help with these situations is to establish the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).


CIT was developed in Memphis, TN to help train officers on how to manage situations involving individuals suffering from mental illness. When implemented and used properly, this training has proven to significantly decrease injuries to those involved in critical incidents and lessen discord within the community. It has also helped to ensure that individuals with mental illness are provided the help they need from mental health providers rather than seeing them taken to jails where their mental health issues are not able to be addressed appropriately. Overall, CIT better prepares law enforcement officers and first responders and helps citizens become more confident in those law enforcement agencies.

Missouri CIT is comprised of volunteer law enforcement officers and other first responders working in cooperation with numerous others in mental health agencies and family advocates. Those who volunteer to join CIT are required to partake in an initial 5-day, 40-hour training that includes seminars from mental health and substance abuse experts, legal experts, experienced CIT members and much more. This training focuses on de-escalation strategies and redirecting the individual from the criminal justice system to the mental health system. Those in CIT then receive continuous in-service training and attend debriefing meetings to ensure they are always provided with the most current information and strategies.


Linn County Sheriff's Office is proud to be a member of the Green Hills Regional CIT Council which was established in 2018. We currently have three staff members that have completed CIT certification. Interim Sheriff Carrie Melte completed the required training to be a certified CIT member in 2018. Sergeant Stacy Walton attended training for CIT certification in 2022. Deputy Jermey Nelson completed the required training and became a certified CIT member in 2016.

Sheriff Melte has always been a strong advocate for CIT and is a board member for the Green Hills Regional CIT Council. She also attended the Missouri CIT Conference in April 2024. With that experience and knowledge, she has worked to continue educating all LCSO staff and will work to have more staff certified in CIT training so that we can continue to better serve those in our community.

If you would like more information about CIT, please feel free to contact our office or any of our certified CIT staff members. You can also visit the websites listed below for more information about the state and regional councils. 

Sheriff Carrie Melte

Sgt. Stacy Walton

Deputy Jermey Nelson



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Office Hours:
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115 W. Jackson Street
Linneus, MO 64653