Three Deputies among New Crisis Intervention Team Graduates
Congratulations to the latest graduates of the Crisis Intervention Team training academy! Deputies Angel French, Dawn Jefferies and Sandra Ubiera from the Sheriff’s Office; Charlette Mitchell-Young, Patrick McGee, Loren West, Carlos Rolon, Lee Houston and Susan Clay from the Police Department; Michael Gerber and Lonnie Phillips from the Fire Department; and Jennifer Male and Wesley Hendrick from Probation and Parole were recognized at a graduation ceremony on Friday September 21 at police headquarters.
CIT was developed in collaboration with the Department of Community and Human Services, Alexandria Police Department, and Alexandria Sheriff’s Office to help improve staff interactions and outcomes with persons with mental illness and substance use disorders. Alexandria’s program includes staff from all first responding agencies to ensure that a comprehensive, City-wide approach is in place to assist those with mental illness.
Through their 40 hours of training, CIT members learn skills such as suicide intervention, verbal de-escalation techniques, the role of the family in the care of a person with mental illness, and legal training in mental health and substance abuse issues. CIT members also participate in role playing exercises based on real-life scenarios and spend a day visiting mental health and substance abuse inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities where they have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one dialogue with mental health consumers.
Since the program began in 2010, more than 50 deputies have completed CIT training and are able to use their specialized skills in the Detention Center, Courthouse and community.