Community Relations


Missoula Youth Crisis Diversion Project

A simple guide for navigating through youth crisis situations, and the community services that may help. 

CIT Officer Recognition

Missoula Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained officers are members of the Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff's Office and Missoula County Detention Facility with specialized training in de-escalating mental health crises and connecting people to necessary community resources. 

We would like to honor and recognize the CIT Officers who have served the community in crisis situations with exceptional care and compassion, while ensuring the safety of themselves and others. 

CIT Officers:

  1. Think big picture, long-term, and often outside the box to do what is right for the individual/community.
  2. Take ownership vs. pointing fingers or blaming -- they ask themselves "What more can I do to help this individual/community?" 
  3. Recognize that EVERY individual is a human being ("what if this was my family member?") and accept and respect others as they are and without judgement. 
  4. Strive to have a lasting positive affect on every situation they are involved in. 

If you would like to nominate an Officer that you believe is deserving of this recognition, please fill out this nomination form. If you don't know that they are CIT trained, that's okay -- submit your request regardless. 

Nominate Button Opens in new window

*Information submitted in this form may be shared by the City of Missoula either online (website/social media) or with media partners unless explicitly requested otherwise by the submitter, individual being recognized, or by the City of Missoula.

Recognizing Professionalism

Ryan Gillhouse Nomination 2

Left  to Right: Missoula Police Dept. Chief Jaeson White, Officer Jay Gillhouse, NAMI Board President Suzin Kratina, and CIT Program Manager Theresa Williams

August 2021
Officer Jay Gillhouse of the Missoula Police Department is the first award recipient in Missoula’s Crisis Intervention Team Recognition Award program.

Gillhouse was honored for his care and understanding in working with people in crisis as well as his skill in helping everyone involved when law enforcement receives a call for assistance. He is also known for extra assistance in helping youth who are in crisis or experiencing homelessness.

“Strengthening our crisis response system is a long-term goal of our Crisis Intervention Team,” said CIT Program Manager Theresa Williams. “CIT officers have an active and integral role in reshaping this system. They respond to behavioral health crisis calls for service on their own or with the Mobile Support Team, and they are showing up on scenes as if it’s their own friend or family member in crisis. They ensure the scene is safe, take the time to listen to the person in crisis (and their family members) and support long-term, recovery-oriented outcomes.”

Here’s what people wrote about Gillhouse’s service in nomination for the award:

  • Jay is able to see people for who they are – human. He is easy to coordinate care with, and I take comfort in knowing that he is always trying to make sure who he is interacting with will find safety and assistance they need. I’m very grateful to have him as an officer in our community.
  • I work at the Poverello Center, and I have seen Officer Gillhouse on many occasions assist our clients who are in mental crisis. He has tried helping some of the youth around the shelter find safer accommodations than the Poverello Center to stay, and he seems to care while upholding the law side of situations.

Gillhouse works as one of two full-time, year-round uniformed officers dedicated to patrolling the downtown area. The Downtown Policing Program is a collaboration among the City, the Downtown Missoula Partnership and the Missoula Parking Commission.

Gillhouse joined the Missoula Police Department in 2018 after nine years of service with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He became a downtown officer last year. He attended the 40-hour CIT Basic Academy in April 2021, and he is the Law Enforcement CIT Representative on the CIT Stakeholder Coordination Team.

Suzin Kratina, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Missoula Board President, presented Gillhouse with the first CIT Officer Award.

“Thank you for giving NAMI Missoula the opportunity to acknowledge the great work that CIT and Officer Gillhouse are doing,” Kratina said.

Officer Recognition

December 2021

Please help us congratulate this quarter's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officers--Officer Brandon LaRocque and Officer Salisha Tennison, with the City of Missoula Police Department, were nominated by members of our community for providing exceptional care and compassion for individuals in crisis.

Officer Tennison was nominated because she is "patient centered and displays strong crisis intervention/de-escalation skills." Her nominator shared an example of a time she sat with an individual in crisis that needed support with filling out a housing application--going above and beyond her duties.

Officer LaRocque was nominated due to the incredible job he has done co-responding to calls with MFD's Mobile Support Team. The nominator writes, "Officer LaRocque did an excellent job, along with another officer, of de-escalating the client [an 18 year old] after she briefly walked away from the crisis center." This individual was struggling with a conflict at home and was regulating at local crisis center.

Cool fact: Officer LaRocque's cousin is Firefighter John LaRocque here at MFD.


CIT Stakeholder Coordination Team Meeting

Participating Stakeholders

Missoula Police Department, Partnership Health Center, Missoula Fire Department (facilitates), Adult Protective Services, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, DPHHS, Western Montana Mental Health Center, Winds of Change, 3 Rivers Mental Health Center, County Attorney’s Office, The Poverello Center, Missoula County Detention Facility, Hope Rescue Mission, VA, Open Aid Alliance and Public Defender’s Office.

Contact list available to members on request.

Theresa Williams, LCSW, CIT Program Manager, Missoula Fire Department
John Petroff, MST Operations Manager, Missoula Fire Department

To improve communication and build trust among participating agencies, prevent duplication of services, coordinate information sharing for the benefits of the patients or clients being served, and ultimately help to address the gaps in Missoula County’s crisis care continuum to achieve the goals of the CIT Program.

Meeting Time, Date, Location
Every other Monday from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, via zoom for now

Measuring Success
Measures of success have not yet been formally defined, but they will likely include a reduction in police contacts, ER visits, etc. An evaluation plan for this program is forthcoming. 

Meeting Agenda and Minutes
Both are provided to members only, and minutes are password protected. 

Open or Closed Group
Closed. New members invited as needed. 

CIT Leadership Roundtable

Participating Stakeholders

Strategic Alliance Members, CIT Coordinators and People with Lived Experience, as well as the Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, Missoula Fire Department, Community Medical Center, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Western Montana Mental Health Center, Partnership Health Center, UM School of Social Work, Missoula County Commissioners, City of Missoula Mayor, Missoula County, UM Curry Health, All Nations Health Center, Montana Healthcare Foundation, Missoula County Office of Emergency Management, City Council, Winds of Change, NAMI Montana

The CIT Leadership Roundtable is Chaired by Chief Jaeson White, Missoula Police Department, and Dr. James Quirk, Medical Director of Partnership Health Center

For information, please contact Theresa Williams,


  • Provide support and thought partnership to the CIT Program Manager and CIT Coordinators. 
  • Identify, access, and deploy resources to benefit the CIT Program. 
  • Promote CIT and its efforts within participants’ organizations, networks and spheres of influence. 
  • Demonstrate participants’ organizations are committed to improving the Missoula behavioral health crisis response system. 
  • Collaborate with other community groups to avoid duplicating efforts on shared and overlapping community priorities of the Jail Diversion Master Plan, Reaching Home-The 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, Sequential Intercept Mapping Report, Strategic Alliance for Improved Behavioral Health and any other relevant Crisis Mapping Documents or groups/coalitions

Meeting Time, Date, Location
Quarterly – Wednesdays from 12:00—1:30 via zoom.

Measuring Success
An evaluation plan for this group is forthcoming.

Meeting Agenda and Minutes
Both are available to members and will be open to the public in the near future. 

Open or Closed Group