Crisis Intervention Team

A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model is a collaborative approach to safely and effectively address the needs of persons with mental illnesses, link them to appropriate services, and divert them from the criminal justice system if appropriate.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) CIT is a group of specially trained deputies that respond to persons in mental health crisis. TCSO CIT formed in 1984 as the Mental Health Unit and was the second such unit in the state of Texas.

CIT deputies are licensed peace officers, with a minimum of two years experience. All CIT deputies are required to complete the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) mental health certification course consisting of 40 hours, and many are cross-trained in crisis negotiation.

The Crisis Intervention Team has two primary purposes:
•  Responding to emergency calls involving mental health consumers in a mental health crisis.
•  Diverting Mental Health consumers from the criminal justice system and connecting them with mental health services in the community.

CIT Deputies must determine if the criminal activity is a direct result of the mental illness. The mental health consumer who is found walking in the street or trespassing on private property because he/she is disoriented or hallucinating may not be best served by spending time in jail. Mental health consumers who have decompensated to this extent should be diverted from the criminal justice system on a case by case basis.

The TCSO CIT, Austin Police Department CIT, and the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team are co-located in order to help foster a good relationship with the three units who have the same goal: get the mental health consumer the help they need. The TCSO CIT may respond to any location within Travis County, including the city of Austin.

There are nine deputies and one sergeant assigned to the TCSO CIT and they are available 24/7.

Download the CIT Resource Brochure.

TCSO CIT (512) 854-3430





Back to Top