Learning Site

Pictured above: a group of officers from the Odessa, Texas Police Department and area law enforcement agencies who received the 40-hour CIT class provided by the Houston Police Department through the United States Council of State Governments Learning Site Program.

Houston was one of six police departments nationwide to be selected in 2010 by the Council of State Governments as a learning site for specialized policing responses for the mentally ill. As a learning site, Houston provides information on its multi-faceted strategies for responding to individuals in serious mental health crises, hosts visitors from across the nation, and trains law enforcement and mental health personnel from across the region, state and nation. Houston started serving as a learning site in January 2011. Senior Officer Frank Webb, Officer Rebecca Skillern, and Program Director Ann MacLeod started the learning site training team.

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Frank Webb, M. Ed.

Frank, who is in his 35th year in the department, helped develop and implement Houston’s CIT Program and was CIT Coordinator from 1999 to 2006, when the program expanded and was placed under a lieutenant. Officer Webb was the Discipline Chair of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s committee that developed the CIT curriculum for the Texas Basic Peace Officers’ Course and was selected to teach the state-mandated 16-hour CIT class to all Texas police chiefs. He received the 100 Club of Houston’s Officer of the Year Award in 1987, the Houston Police Department’s Officer of the Year Award in 2000, and the Houston Police Department’s Instructor of the Year Award in 2010. Frank has also received several awards from the mental health community. Frank has been teaching CIT-related classes since 1995.  Frank recently retired from the department and has been replaced with David Rose, MPA (see below).

Rebecca Skillern, M.A., LPC-S

Rebecca is one of the original HPD Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) officers and has been with the Mental Health Unit since July 2008. Prior to joining HPD, Officer Skillern received her B.S. in Psychology and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor who has worked in the mental health field for over 17 years. Rebecca has served in several leadership positions as a mental health professional, including having served as President of the Houston Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and is currently serving as the first Chair/President for the Texas CIT Association.

Officer David Rose, MPA
After working as a patrol officer on the north side of Houston, David joined the Mental Health Division in 2013. David worked as a CIRT officer for two years before accepting a position as the division’s analyst in 2015. David also volunteered to help with training and was selected as the division’s second full time trainer in March 2017.
David has collaborated on projects and trainings in the community with an assortment of agencies, including The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Houston’s Department of Psychology, NASA, NAMI Greater Houston, and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). David received his Master’s in Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University in 2016.

 Site Visits – 2011

Durham, North Carolina

(Above) Members of the Durham (NC) Police Department visited Houston in April to study the department’s innovative programs for responding to individuals in serious mental health crises. Based on what they learned in Houston, the visitors returned to Durham with plans to develop a database, develop more proactive programs, and planned to collaborate more closely with their mental health partners and local universities. Pictured are (left to right): Assistant Chief J. H. Chen, West Patrol Command, Houston Police Department; Executive Assistant Chief K. A. Munden, Field Operations, Houston Police Department; Investigator William Fleeman, Durham Police Department’s CIT Program; Ms. Alanna Jones, Clinical Case Manager for the Durham County Criminal Justice Resource Center partnering with the Durham Police Department’s CIT Program; Corporal Mark Morais, Durham Police Department’s CIT Program; Senior Officer Frank Webb and Officer Rebecca Skillern, Mental Health Unit, Houston; Assistant Chief M. D. Slinkard, Forensics Services Command, Houston.
 

Denver, Colorado

(Above) Members of the Denver (CO) Police Department visited Houston in August to study  Houston’s programs to respond to the mentally ill. What impressed the visitors from Denver the most was the extent of the collaboration that exists between Houston and its mental health partners, the strong community relations and support for Houston’s programs, Houston’s CIRT program and database. Pictured (left to right): Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston; Officer Susan Gann, Denver Police Department Mental Health Unit; Executive Assistant Chief T. N. Oettmeier, Support Operations, Houston; Sergeant Betty Hale, Denver Police Department Mental Health Unit; and Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston.

 Texas CIT Training – 2011

 

San Marcos – June 2011

Sonora – July 2011

New Braunfels – October 2011

Laredo – November 2011

CIT Training – 2012 

McAllen, Texas – April/May 2012

Cleveland, Texas – August 2012

Tuscaloosa, Alabama – September 2012

Goliad, Texas – October 2012

Site Visits – 2012

 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(Above) Members of the Milwaukee (WI) Police Department visited Houston in July to learn about Houston’s specialized programs to deal with individuals in serious mental health crises. Based on what they learned in Houston, the visitors hoped to develop a comprehensive database, strengthen their collaboration with their mental health partners, revamp their training and work on developing a Crisis Intervention Response Team. Pictured are (left to right) Captain Bruce Williams, Chief’s Office, Houston Police Department; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department Mental Health Unit; Executive Assistant Chief Tim Oettmeier, Houston Police Department; Lieutenant Karen Dubis, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Milwaukee Police Department; Sergeant Cherie’ Robertson, CIT Coordinator, Milwaukee Police Department; Officer Chad Stiles, CIT Officer, Milwaukee Police Department; Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department Mental  Health Unit.

CIT Training – 2013

 

Mankato, Minnesota - July 29 - August 2

Mankato, Minnesota – July 2013

Site Visits – 2014

 

King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office – February 2014

(left to right) Deputy Val Kelly, King County Sheriff’s Office; Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department; Captain Scott Strathy, King County Sheriff’s Office; Chief of Police Charles A. McClelland, Jr., Houston Police Department; Deputy Josephine McNaughton, King County Sheriff’s Office; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Executive Assistant Chief M. A. Dirden, Houston Police Department; Captain Wendy Baimbridge, Houston Police Department.

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Knoxville (TN) Police Department – September 2014

(left to right) Lieutenant Patrick Plourde, Houston Police Department; Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Executive Assistant Chief M. A. Dirden, Houston Police Department; Sergeant Susan Coker, Knoxville Police Department; Chief of Police Charles A. McClelland, Jr., Houston Police Department; Captain Wendy Baimbridge, Houston Police Department

CIT Training 2014

 

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
South Padre Island, Texas – April

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
Conroe Independent School District Police Department
Conroe, Texas – July

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
Houston Independent School District Police Department
Houston, Texas – August

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
Laredo Police Department and area agencies
Laredo, Texas – September

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
Sequin Police Department and area agencies
Seguin, Texas – December

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40-Hour Mental Health Peace Officer Training
McAllen Police Department and area agencies
McAllen, Texas – December

Site Visits 2015

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Arlington (TX) Police Department – February 2015

(left to right) Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Stephanie Gillespie, Community Support Manager, Arlington Police Department; Captain Wendy Bainbridge, Houston Police Department.

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Duluth  (MN) Police Department – June 2015

(left to right) Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Lieutenant Cheryl Southwell, Houston Police Department; Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department; Officer Angela Robertson, Duluth Police Department; Executive Assistant Chief Michael A. Dirden, Houston Police Department; Patty Beech, Data Analyst, Duluth Police Department; Officer Dave Drozdowski, Duluth Police Department; Deb Holman, Street Outreach, Churches United Ministry, Duluth; Mark Engebretson, Street Outreach, Churches United Ministry, Duluth.

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Milwaukee (WI) Police Department – August 2015

(left to right) Lieutenant Cheryl Southwell, Houston Police Department (HPD); Officer Rebecca Skillern, HPD; Chief of Police Charles A. McClellan, Jr., HPD; Lieutenant Liam Looney, Milwaukee Police Department;  Senior Officer Frank Webb, HPD.

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Madison (WI) Police Department – August 2015

(left to right) Lieutenant Cheryl Southwell, Houston Police Department (HPD); Gerald Murphy, United States Council of State Governments (USCSG); Nicola Smith-Kea, USCSG; Captain Kristen Roman, Madison Police Department; Executive Assistant Chief Michael A. Dirden, HPD; Sarah Hendrickson, Journey Mental Health Center, Madison; Theresa Badnarik, Journey Mental Health Center; Senior Officer Frank Webb, HPD; Captain Wendy Bainbridge, HPD.

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U.S. Department of Justice- October 2015

(left to right) Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department (HPD); Captain Wendy Baimbridge, HPD; Kisha Lorio, The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (THC); Ann MacLeod, THC; Sergeant J. C. Silva, HPD; Lieutenant Cheryl Southwell, HPD; Joseph Spadafore, Center for Court Innovation, U.S. Department of Justice; Jennifer Tallon, Ph.D., Center for Court Innovation, U.S. Department of Justice; Senior Officer Frank Webb, HPD; Kim Kornmayer, THC.

CIT Training – 2015

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Apache Junction, Arizona – April

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Kyle, Texas Police Department Group One – May 19, 2015
(Class on the Mental Health Code)

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Kyle, Texas Police Department Group Two – May 20, 2015
(Class on the Mental Health Code)

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Brownsville, Texas Police Department – September

Site Visits – 2016

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Salt Lake City, Utah – February 2016

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Los Angeles, California – May 2016

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Baltimore, Maryland – September 2016

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Colorado Agencies – September 2016

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Sam Marcos, Texas – October 2016 

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Amarillo, Texas – November 2016

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 New York Police Department – November 2016

CIT Training – 2016

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Odessa, Texas – May 2016

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Mission, Texas – July 2016

CIT Training 2017

Seguin, Texas – January 2017

Laredo, Texas – January 2017