The Kentucky CIT Program began in 2001 in Louisville. Since that time, there have been over 1,550 law enforcement officers trained in the CIT model of verbal de-escalation, active listening skills and non-lethal weapons use. This program has decreased the number of injuries to officers and consumers and increased the number of consumers receiving the treatment they need for their mental illness. CIT has proven to be a best practices model for jail diversion of people with mental illness. In 2007, a grant was obtained from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services that enabled this life-saving program to be introduced to law enforcement officers in communities all across the Commonwealth. Since that time, over 25 classes have been taught providing instruction to 700+ officers from every region of the state.
Denise Spratt started with the Jefferson County Police Department in 1984. The City of Louisville and Jefferson County Police Departments merged in 2003 and became Louisville Metro Police, where Denise continued her career until retirement in 2007
Denise was a police officer for 23 years, 10 of which were spent in patrol. She was a homicide detective for seven years and spent two years in internal affairs as an investigator. She also spent a year in training and a couple of years in support operations, where she served as the domestic violence coordinator and the Crisis Intervention Team coordinator. During that time, she had a collateral assignment with the hostage negotiation team and was a negotiator for 19 years, eventually becomming commander of that team.
Since retirement, Denise has continued to use her law enforcement experience in the CIT program.
“CIT encourages us more to look at the solution of the problem. We can’t fix every problem, sometimes not any problem, but we need to try to address the sense that we are there to help fix the issue, not necessarily to be the bad guy.”
Deputy Tim Reynolds
Marshall County Sheriff's Office