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Posted on: December 18, 2015

Loudoun Leads Crisis Intervention Training at Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2015

Contact: Liz Mills, Chief Information Officer, 571-251-5568 (mobile)
[email protected]

Loudoun Leads Crisis Intervention Training at Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy

Loudoun County, VA- New law enforcement recruits are now being taught crisis intervention as part of their basic training at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy (NVCJA).

The eight-hour course, called “Introduction to the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)”, was held this month for law enforcement recruits and was taught by instructors from the Loudoun County CIT program, including representatives from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The purpose of the course is to show recruits the importance of communication skills and recognizing when someone may be in crisis.

The course introduced recruits to the history of mental illness, how to recognize different types of mental illness, verbal de-escalation and active listening skills, as well as understanding special populations such as veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), as well as those suffering traumatic brain injuries or who are diagnosed with Autism.

“It is important for new recruits to understand the importance of recognizing when someone may be suffering a behavioral crisis, the vital role of communication skills during such an encounter, and how to treat all individuals with respect,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.

The recruits who participated in the first CIT training are currently in session at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy and are scheduled to graduate next week from the 24-week program for deputy sheriffs and police officers from the Northern Virginia area. “The addition of crisis intervention training will better prepare recruits for the situations they will face as new members of law enforcement,” said William O’Toole, Executive Director of the NVCJA. Crisis intervention training is currently being implemented in law enforcement training academies throughout the Commonwealth in coordination with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The NVCJA provides training to agencies from the Northern Virginia area including the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, City of Alexandria Police Department, City of Alexandria Office of the Sheriff, City of Fairfax Police Department, City of Falls Church Police Department, City of Falls Church Office of the Sheriff, City of Manassas Police Department, City of Manassas Park Police Department, George Mason University Police Department, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police Department, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, Northern Virginia Community College Police Department, Town of Leesburg Police Department, Town of Middleburg Police Department, Town of Purcellville Police Department.

Sheriff Chapman helped facilitate crisis intervention training in October 2012 after assessing the frequency of incidents involving mental illness in Loudoun County. The program was expanded to the ADC in January 2015.

Since the inception of the CIT program, over 200 deputies from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office have received Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), including corrections staff in the Adult Detention Center (ADC), as well as School Resource Officers and members of the Traffic Safety Section. In addition, 100% of all dispatchers and call takers in the Emergency Communications Center have received crisis intervention training.
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