Parkridge Valley CEO Brennan Francois was recently recognized at a special ceremony as the Hamilton County/Chattanooga Crisis Intervention Team’s Partner of the Year.
The Partner of the Year Award is an acknowledgement of the extensive support Francois has given to the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program, which trains law enforcement personnel on the proper way to respond to individuals dealing with a mental health crisis.
Francois has been involved since the beginning of the program in 2009, teaching classes for the CIT School as well as the CIT For Youth course established for School Resource Officers and College Campus Police last year.
“Mr. Francois has been instrumental in training officers and raising awareness of mental health issues,” notes Corporal Eliott Mahaffey, CIT Coordinator/Training Officer with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. “Among participants, he is one of the highest-rated instructors in the program.”
City, county, and federal law enforcement from across the region have participated in the 40-hour CIT program, which covers topics such as substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, legal issues and mental health law, and training on assessing and requesting crisis services. Instruction, which includes lectures, site visits to mental health facilities, and role-playing exercises, is provided by volunteer mental health professionals and advocates as well as experienced CIT officers.
To date, over 150 officers representing agencies from six counties in three states have received instruction from the Hamilton County/City of Chattanooga CIT program.