Major Dennis Missimi of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office is the newest member of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County but he’s no stranger to the organization, having served previously as a board member and on staff.

01 A life-long resident of Kent, Missimi was a member of the board for 13 years, four of those years as chairman. He worked as the board’s director of special projects and Crisis Intervention Team coordinator from 2005 to 2008. He also served 6 years on the Townhall II Board prior to the MHRB.

“It’s great to be working with the board, its staff and our local agencies again. The board and system play a critical role in the health of Portage County residents. Together they ensure we have crisis services, treatment and education for mental health problems and addictions,” Missimi said.

Missimi was appointed to a four-year term by Portage County Commissioners. Since 2009, he has been commissioned as a major with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.

While he was with the board as a staff member, he established the CIT program for Portage County in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Portage County. A national program, CIT is a philosophy and set of tools adopted by safety forces that help them work with people in crisis, many of whom have mental illnesses and/or addictions.

The CIT program has grown from the first class in 2006 of 17 to 200 graduates, representing every law enforcement agency in the county, the courts, Kent State University, Hiram College and NEOMED, Robinson Memorial Hospital, Townhall II and Coleman Professional Services. Graduates have been recognized for their work by the international and state CIT programs, Kent State University and the American Red Cross of Portage and Summit Counties.

He and his, wife, Dr. Sally Missimi, Ph.D., R.N., reside in Kent and are members of the Kent State University Parish Newman Center.