The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced the creation of a Crisis Intervention Team in a Mar. 3 news release.

The CIT is a community-based program, according to the release, that partners with agencies such as law enforcement and mental health professionals. The CIT will consist of a deputy with a mental health peace officer license who will be partnered with a qualified mental health professional employed by Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare.

“We know that all too often persons with mental illness end up in jails, emergency rooms or other non therapeutic locations when they really need mental health treatment. This program with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office provides an opportunity to impact more persons in mental health crisis in Montgomery County,” Tri-County Executive Director Evan Roberson said.

Precinct 1 has rolled out a similar program in which a crisis assessment specialist will be paired with a member of the Precinct 1 Crisis Intervention Team, according to a Mar. 2 release. This evaluator will assist with immediate safety and action plans as well as identifying the least restrictive intervention when needing to stabilize a mental health crisis, according to the release.

“We believe that by combining this team into one unit, it will effectively streamline the process for all persons involved as it navigates the difficult and sensitive realm of mental health response,” said Scott Harper, a lieutenant with the Administrative Services Division, in a March 7 email.