For Immediate Release
March 4, 2011
Alexandria Police Department and Sheriff’s Office Congratulate Crisis Intervention Team Graduates
On Friday, March 4, nine police officers and eight deputy sheriffs will graduate from the Crisis Intervention Team’s training academy. A graduation ceremony for the officers and deputy sheriffs will be held at 3:00 P.M. at Fire Station 209, located at 2800 Main Line Blvd in Potomac Yards. The Chief of Police and the Undersheriff will be speaking to congratulate the graduating class on their accomplishment.
The Alexandria Police Department and Sheriff’s Office developed the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) through a partnership with the Department of Mental Health. A Crisis Intervention Team is comprised of highly skilled and specially trained police officers who function as part of the regular police patrol. Through their training, these officers receive 40 hours of specialized training in the recognition of psychiatric disorders, suicide intervention, substance abuse issues, 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. In addition to classroom instruction, officers-in-training also participate in role playing exercises based on real-life scenarios and spend an entire 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, and learn about resources available to help people in crisis.
This academy’s graduates from the Sheriff’s Office are Sergeant Felicia Mensah, Chris Cahill, Kim Settle, Deputies Norah Jones, Teneka King, Greg Perez, Isaac Lovitt and Audrey Eskridge. From the Police Department, the graduates are Officers Kammy Stern, Darryl Ferrer, Joseph Kirby, Jeff Harrington, Mike Rodriguez, Michael Rossiter, Charlie Lloyd, John Eliff and Cynthia Hurley
CIT is based on a model developed by the Memphis Police Department in 1988 following a Police shooting of a mentally ill person, and it has since been adopted in communities in 45 states. The training is designed to educate and prepare police officers who come into contact with people with mental illnesses to recognize the signs and symptoms of these illnesses and to respond effectively and appropriately to individuals in crisis. The trained CIT officer is skilled at de-escalating crises involving people with mental illness, while bringing an element of understanding and compassion to these difficult situations.
Jody D. Donaldson, Commander Harry Covert
Media Services Unit Public Information Officer
Alexandria Police Department Alexandria Sheriff’s Office