FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2017
Kraig Troxell, Media Relations & Communications Manager, 703-771-5278
Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625
Loudoun County, VA- Five years ago Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman had a heady goal of training 25% of sworn personnel with Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) after assessing the number of incidents involving mental illness in the county. To accomplish this, he collaborated with a myriad of stakeholders and started the CIT program.
The LCSO now has 100% of all uniformed patrol deputies with two or more years on patrol trained in CIT. The program requires two or more years of experience to participate in the training. Ninety-eight percent of all dispatchers and call takers in the Emergency Communications Center are also trained in CIT.
The CIT training helps prepare law enforcement officers, on patrol and in the Adult Detention Center (ADC), as well as emergency dispatchers to calmly and effectively communicate with citizens experiencing a behavioral crisis.
Sheriff Chapman helped facilitate crisis intervention training in October 2012 and the program was expanded to include the Courts and Corrections Division in January 2015.
“The efforts of this agency to implement CIT have not gone unnoticed. Our CIT trainers have been recognized locally and statewide for their efforts and have received international certifications,” said Sheriff Chapman. “The program here in Loudoun continues to be a leader in crisis intervention training in the region,” added Chapman.
The training includes classroom instruction and role play exercises which enable law enforcement personnel to gain a better understanding of the experience of living with serious mental illnesses. Participants also conduct site visits to Inova Loudoun Behavioral Services (ILBHS), the Homeless Shelter, and MHSADS offices at the Shenandoah Building. The class is taught by Loudoun certified CIT Sheriff’s Deputies and professionals from MHSADS, the Alexandria Police Department and Sheriff’s Office, and other experts within the field. During the week-long training, students are introduced to medical, social, psychological and legal aspects associated with mental illness.
The collaborative program joined the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Courts; Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Developmental Health Services (MHSADS); Friends of Loudoun Mental Health; the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Northern Virginia; the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney; the Loudoun County Office of the Public Defender; the Leesburg Police Department; the Purcellville Police Department; the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department; Inova Loudoun Hospital; StoneSprings Hospital Center; Virginia Veterans and Family Services; and Retired Col. Scot Campbell in an effort to allow mentally ill persons to receive necessary treatment to become stabilized and work toward recovery. The training includes site visits and partnerships with Ken Falke and the staff from Boulder Crest (healing one veteran at a time) and the Paxton Campus “A Life Like Yours” (ALLY) Advocacy Center.
The CIT program is designed to promote positive interaction between law enforcement and persons in crisis and reduce injuries to deputies and persons suffering from mental illness.