Dr. Dara Rampersad is a licensed psychologist in both Arizona and Hawaii and specializes in first responder crisis intervention. He is certified in Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) as a CIT Coordinator, and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and FBI- Crisis Negotiator Teams (CNT). In addition, Dr. Rampersad is licensed as a professional counselor in Arizona and Colorado, and is nationally board certified in counseling, with over 20 years of experience in the mental health field.
As the past Senior Director of crisis services for an integrated healthcare company, he led approximately 200 behavioral health crisis staff servicing over 4 million people in Arizona. He is also a CIT instructor for many police and sheriff departments, and trains on crisis and mental health to fire departments, paramedics, and other first responder agencies.
Dr. Rampersad currently serves on the CIT International Board of Directors, and was also involved as a team leader for an International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) policy group; revising policies and procedures for how law enforcement respond to people with mental illness or in crisis. Dr. Rampersad also serves on the mental health advisory board for Mesa Police Department, and on the paramedic training advisory board for the Phoenix Fire Department.
Prior to starting his psychological consulting firm BluePaz, LLC, Dr. Rampersad worked as the Department of Health Forensic Coordinator for Maui County. In this capacity, he launched Maui County Police Department’s and the State of Hawaii’s very first CIT program; to improve first responder service delivery to people living with mental illness. During this time, Dr. Rampersad was also able to assist in starting Maui County’s first felony/circuit court mental health court, and he was selected by CIT International as an international behavioral health practitioner of the year.
Dr. Rampersad has appeared on multiple television and radio programs to speak on law enforcement response to mental health, violence risk assessment, homelessness, and other mental health issues. He has also served as an expert witness in complex judicial cases involving involuntary hospitalization and fitness to proceed issues.
Dr. Rampersad has been given letters of commendation by the Governor of Hawaii and the Mayor and Chief of Police of Maui County for his pioneering work in the field of mental health. He was also lauded by and received commendations from the Phoenix Police Department for his assistance in selecting their CIT detective squads, and for his ongoing work in assisting law enforcement as a first responder psychologist.