The Fayetteville Cumberland Crisis Intervention Team recognized eight law enforcement, emergency responders, trainers and supporters Oct. 23 during the annual CIT Awards ceremony held in the Cumberland County Detention Center. The CIT is a jail diversion program established in 2009 to provide a specialized law enforcement response to individuals experiencing a crisis related to mental illness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Cumberland, Harnett and Lee counties sponsored the awards ceremony and presented honors to the following recipients:
Founders Award: Chief Blair Myhand, Clayton Police Department
Founders Award: Wayne Cannon, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy of the Year: James Fortune, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
Officer of the Year: Amanda Bell, Fayetteville Police Department
Detention Officer of the Year: Nichole Hoking, Cumberland County Detention Center
Emergency Medical Technician of the Year: Stacey Masters, Cumberland County EMS
Telecommunicator of the Year: Kasie Clark, Fayetteville Police 911 Communications
Trainer of the Year: Oretha Harris, Cape Fear Valley Health
Champion of the Year: Recovery Guest Panel, Myrover-Reese Fellowship Homes, Inc.
Advocate Award: Dorothy Johnson, NAMI Board member
Chief Myhand was nominated for his efforts to organize the Veterans Crisis Intervention Team in 2015 when he was with the Apex Police Department. Now as the Police Chief in Clayton, Myhand has been instrumental in the programs and expansion, including two Veteran CIT trainings held in Cumberland County.
Myhand retired from the North Carolina Army National Guard and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
The Crisis Intervention Team seeks to help citizens get treatment instead of being incarcerated by training first responders in how to handle an individual experiencing a mental health crisis. CIT includes law enforcement, paramedics, telecommunicators, detention officers and magistrates.