Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) provided a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement June 18th-22nd. There were 10 trainees in attendance from the Waycross Police Department, St. Mary’s Police Department, and Ware County Sheriff’s Department.

Debbie Carter, who is a retired Lieutenant from the Waycross Police Department, now works with GPSTC as the CIT Coordinator for our area. She does an exceptional job teaching and advocating for first responders and individuals with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities. Lesley White assisted Debbie before and during the training. Unison is proud most of the guest speakers are employed in our agency. They included: Shonda Miller, Jonathon Pryor, April Roberson, Amber Williams, Deborah Bonaparte (and consumers), Joel Williams, Viva Steed, and Tiffany Henderson. Site visits with consumer recovery stories were from Ware Day Services, St. Illa, and Garden Gate.  

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is a dynamic collaboration of professionals committed to people with mental illness and other brain disorders. The CIT program is presented by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and the Georgia Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Law enforcement officers who are trained in CIT can effectively assist individuals with mental illness and other brain disorders who are in crisis, therefore advancing public safety and reducing the stigma commonly associated with mental illness. The training will also ensure that people with mental illnesses and other brain disorders always receive treatment, in lieu of incarceration in most cases. (

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