CIT Services

It’s Okay to ASK for a CIT Officer

The CIT program is a service to our community, so don’t be afraid to use it. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to call law enforcement to intervene with a person experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s okay to request a CIT officer.

How Family and Friends Can Assist CIT Officers When a Mental Health Crisis Occurs

Mental health crises are stressful for all parties involved. Some preparation before the crisis will help your friend or loved-one get the care needed as soon as possible.

  • Find out if CIT is part of your police department.
  • When calling for police assistance, ask for a CIT officer.
  • Keep a current list of medications and doctors’ names and offer it to the CIT officer when he/she arrives.
  • Meet the CIT officer outside if possible and fully explain the crisis and what you would like to happen.
  • Make the CIT officer(s) aware of anything you know that upsets the person in the crisis.
  • Keep all guns out of the home.
  • When the CIT officer arrives, advise them if the person is armed or has access to weapons. Remember, when weapons are involved, police concentrate on the possible threat of violence until it is neutralized.
  • Understand, the CIT officer(s) will probably ask you to wait in an area away from the person in a crisis. Let the officer do his or her job and only offer assistance if asked.
  • Be prepared to go to the hospital — but remember all CIT calls do not necessarily mean a trip to the hospital.
  • Get to know your police department. Introduce your family member or friend to the police when they are not in crisis. Call your police department and have CIT officer stop by your house when he/she has time or go to the police station when a CIT officer will be there.
  • Let your family member know the police are there to help.

Educate yourself about your family members’ or friends’ mental illness by requesting information from the NAMI Scranton and Northeast Region, an affiliate of theNational Alliance on Mental Illness.


Raymond T. Hayes

  • Retired Sgt, Pennsylvania State Police
  • NEPA CIT, The Advocacy Alliance
  • MHFA Instructor
  • Criminal Justice Instructor, Keystone College (Retired)
  • Public Safety Director, City of Scranton (Former)
  • Co-Chair Mayor’s Taskforce on Law Enforcement and Mental Illness
  • Public Safety Director, Keystone College (Former)
  • Founding Member Scranton CIT
  • Board Member, Lackawanna Susquehanna Behavioral Health Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program

Marie Onukiavage 

  • NEPA CIT, The Advocacy Alliance
  • MHFA Instructor 
  • Executive Director, NAMI Northeast Region, PA
  • Founding Member Scranton CIT

Cherianne Scala 

  • NEPA CIT Coordinator, The Advocacy Alliance
  • MHFA Instructor 
  • Certified CIT Coordinator, CIT International
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior Instructor

John Chilleri 

  • NEPA CIT, The Advocacy Alliance
  • Retired Police Academy Director for the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Academy at Lackawanna College 
  • Retired certified Pennsylvania Municipal Police Training Commission Instructor
  • Retired Sergeant Moosic Police Department
  • PA Department of Health Emergency Medical Technician
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior Instructor
  • MHFA Instructors

NEPA CIT Steering Committee

This committee is comprised of organizations and individuals representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, who have operational decision making authority for their respective agencies and who possess a strong interest in improving the law enforcement relationships with persons with behavioral health issues.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, Susquehanna County

Donald Bergman, Chief, University of Scranton Police Department

Tim Betti, Warden, Lackawanna County Prison

Thomas Carroll,  Chief of Police, Scranton

John Chilleri,  NEPA CIT, The Advocacy Alliance

Scott Constantini, Director of Behavioral Health Wright Center

Harry Coleman, Attorney

Owen Dougherty, Recovery Supports Manager/Community Liaison, The Wright Center

Ray Hayes, NEPA CIT, The Advocacy Alliance

Michelle Matyevich,  Community Intervention Center

Sinead O’Hare, Healing Within Counselors and Psychotherapy, PLLC

Marie Onukiavage, NEPA CIT, The Advocacy  Alliance, NAMI Northeast Region PA

Cherianne Scala,  NEPA CIT Coordinator, The Advocacy Alliance

Edward Shoener, Deacon, Diocese of Scranton, St. Peters Cathedral

Kristen Simpson,  Director of Crisis and Warm Hand Off, Scranton Counseling Center

John Trama,  Lackawanna County Prison

Timothy Trently, Chief of Police, Archbald Borough, President Lackawanna County Chiefs’ of Police

Sarah Wodder, Ed.D, President/CEO, Scranton Counseling Center

NEPA CIT Planning Team

This Team is comprised of individuals representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives who have demonstrated strong commitment to the delivery and sustainability of CIT. This group includes individuals from law enforcement, first responders, corrections professionals, advocacy, consumer, family and mental health professionals. 

Joe Dombroski – Scranton PD

Carl Mosier – Certified Peer Specialist

Kevin Rude – University of Scranton PD

Danny Kapaks – Dunmore PD

Michelle Matyevich – Community Intervention Center

Paul Tomcyzk – Scranton PD

Eugene Ruddy – Lackawanna County Prison

John Trama – Lackawanna County Prison

Sinead O’Hare – Just Believe Recovery Center

Participating Departments & Agencies

  • The Advocacy Alliance
  • Allied Services
  • Archbald Police Department
  • Blakely Police Department
  • Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company
  • Carbondale Police Department
  • Clarks Summit Fire Company
  • Clarks Summit Police Department
  • Dalton Borough Police Department
  • Dalton Fire Department
  • Dickson City Police Department
  • Dunmore Police Department
  • Emergency Medical Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc.
  • Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville
  • Geisinger – CMC Security
  • Greenfield Township Police Department
  • Kalahari Resorts & Conventions – Poconos
  • Kingston Forty Fort Fire Department
  • Kingston Township Police Department
  • Lackawanna District Attorney’s Office
  • Lackawanna County Juvenile Detention
  • Lackawanna County Mental Health Treatment Court
  • Lackawanna County Prison
  • Lackawanna County Probation & Parole
  • Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department
  • Lackawanna County 911
  • Lehman Pike Emergency Medical Services
  • Mayfield Police Department
  • Moosic Police Department
  • Moscow Police Department
  • NAMI Northeast Region PA
  • National Park Service – Deleware Water Gap Recreation Area
  • Old Forge Police Department
  • Olyphant Police Department
  • Pathstone Corporation
  • Pennsylvania Ambulance
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Pennsylvania State Parole
  • Roaring Brook Township Police Department
  • Scranton Counseling Center
  • Scranton Police Department
  • State Correctional Institute at Waymart
  • South Abington Police Department
  • Susquehanna County Correctional Facility
  • Susquehanna County Sheriff’s Department
  • Taylor Police Department
  • Tunkhannock Township Police Department
  • United States Probation Office
  • University of Scranton Police Department
  • Veterans Affairs Police Department – Wilkes Barre
  • Wayne County Correctional Facility
  • Waverly Police Department