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Major Sam Cochran & Laura Usher
Laura Usher is the senior manager, criminal justice and advocacy, with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She advocates for NAMI’s criminal justice priorities, including reforms to policing, jails and reentry to better serve people with mental illness involved in the justice system. Previously, Ms. Usher served for eight years as NAMI’s program manager for crisis intervention teams (CIT), assisting law enforcement agencies nationwide in improving responses to people in the community experiencing mental health crises.  

Major Sam Cochran (retired) was the coordinator of the nation’s first crisis intervention team (CIT) program in Memphis.  He now serves as co-chairman of the board of CIT International and provides consultation to CIT programs throughout the US and internationally. During his time as a law enforcement officer, Major Cochran served in uniform patrol, the investigative division and was an instructor at the training academy. 

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