Police officers graduate from Right Turn crisis program

Right Turn Graduates

Graduates of the Right Turn program, left to right, are: In front: Justin Miller, Brookville Police Department; Krista Collins, Community Connections; Julie Curry, Lawrence Township Police Department; Andrew Turnball, Brookville Police Department; Tyler Ferguson, Clearfield County Domestic Relations; Ben Johnson, Clearfield County Domestic Relations; Alex Angstadt; Clearfield County Juvenile Probation. In back: Todd Lombardo, Morris Cooper Regional Police; Chief Donald Routch, Sandy Township Police; Emma Barrett, Jefferson County Probation; John Licatovich, Penn State DuBois Police; C.O. Reiter, Jefferson County Jail; C.O. Gresock, Jefferson County Jail; Chief Jason Brown, Brookville Police; Steve Gillespie, Clearfield County Probation; Sgt. Schott, Jefferson County Jail; C.O. Raybuck, Jefferson County Jail; and Mike Moyer, Clearfield County Domestic Relations.

Credit: Steve Harmic

The fifth class of offices trained as Right Turn Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) members graduated at Penn State DuBois on May 5.

The Right Turn Project is a collaborative effort of the Clearfield and Jefferson County Criminal Justice Advisory Boards behavioral health and justice subcommittees. It is the mission of the Right Turn to divert nonviolent individuals needing behavioral health services from deeper penetration into the criminal justice system and engage them in treatment that aids them in their recovery

Developed by the Memphis (Tennessee) Police Department and implemented in 1988, CIT is an evidence-based approach to responding to dispatches involving individuals with mental illness or other behavioral impairments. Using CIT techniques results in improved officer and individual safety and can divert nonviolent individuals from the criminal justice system into treatment and recovery.

Criminal Justice Advisory Boards (CJABs) are groups of top-level county officials which address criminal justice issues from a systemic and policy level perspective. CJABs study best practices in the administration and delivery of criminal justice and recommend ways in which public agencies can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system within a county. Membership is comprised of individuals with the authority and credibility to affect the delivery of criminal justice/public safety and service on the county and local levels and includes top-level representatives of the courts, corrections, law enforcement, community-based organizations, county commissioners, health and human service agencies, victims’ services agencies, and the business and faith communities.

The Right Turn CIT was developed after the August 2010 Cross System Mapping and Action Planning completed by the Jefferson County CJAB and facilitated by the PA Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence. In April 2011 six members of the Right Turn Team participated in CIT training sponsored by the Laurel Highlands CIT in Johnstown. This core team has developed a training specific to law enforcement and services available in our counties and has delivered this 40 hour course five times including this April and May at Penn State DuBois. This class’s participants included officers from Brookville Borough Police, the Jefferson County Jail, Jefferson County Probation, Sandy Township Police, Lawrence Township Police, Morris Cooper Township Police, Penn State Campus Police, Clearfield Adult and Juvenile Probation, Clearfield County Domestic Relations, and Service Access and Management.