FORT BEND COUNTY EARNS NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM

County Judge Fort Bend County, TX

Robert E. Hebert Fort Bend County Judge Phone (281) 341-8608 www.fortbendcountynews.info

For Immediate Release

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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.

Sheriff Nehls said, “Our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) prioritizes the well-being of our citizens by linking law enforcement with behavioral health services.  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.

Judge Hebert said, “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. This award is well deserved testimony that our CIT team is a valued expansion of our law enforcement response capabilities.”

Pictured Left to Right: Sergeant Jerome Ellis; Dr. Connie Almeida; Deputy Theo Deaver; Deputy Kathy Drzata; Deputy Sonia Craig; Captain Matt Carter; Deputy Michelle Guajardo; Deputy Michael Steiner; Deputy Gary Kidder; Deputy Alexander Rey; Lieutenant Scott Soland; Deputy Anthony DeLeon