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Area officers to begin training at RCCC

Twenty-seven officers begin Crisis Intervention Team Training on Monday at the Rowan Campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury. The participants are members of the seventh CIT class and represent law enforcement from four of the five counties in the PBH catchment ń Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly and Union. Graduation exercises for officers completing the 40-hour training will be held July 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the RCCC Auditorium.
The training is sponsored by PBH and is patterned after the nationally renowned Memphis Tennessee Police Department CIT Program.
The CIT Program was first introduced to our area in January 2008 through the collaborative efforts of the Rowan, Cabarrus and Union County Affiliates of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, RCCC and PBH. Classes are held quarterly in January, April, July and October.
The goal for the program is to train 25 percent of all area law enforcement as CIT officers. With completion of the current class, almost 200 area officers and 911 telecommunicators will have completed the training.
CIT is an innovative program that offers specialized training to law enforcement officers who may respond to mental health crisis situations. It encourages cooperation among law enforcement agencies, mental health professionals and local community agencies to work together to meet the special needs of people experiencing a mental health crisis.
Participating officers earn continuing education credits to help them meet their annual law enforcement training requirements. They receive training in understanding mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, brain theory, personality disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, and the effects of psychotropic medications.
The program emphasizes safety first and teaches crisis intervention and verbal de-escalation techniques that reduce the risk of harm to officers and people with mental illness in crisis situations.
The highlight of the training is the graduation ceremony, during which each officer receives a certificate of completion from Rowan Cabarrus Community College Criminal Justice Department and a CIT uniform pin which distinguishes the officer as a member of the Crisis Intervention Team within his/her department.
Members of the current class are: Deputy Luke Szabo, Deputy Mitch Queen, Deputy Todd Green, Deputy Dave Moose, Deputy Randy Buckwell and Sergeant Keely Litaker from the Cabarrus Sheriff’s Department; Sergeant Scott Newell from the Concord Police Department; Sergeant Tony Gulledge and Sergeant Bobby Lear from the Kannapolis Police Department; Police Officer I Annice Chunn, Police Officer I Marcus Lawing, Master Police Officer Shanita Millsaps and Police Officer I Robert Gaither from the Salisbury Police Department; Deputy Pamela Cole, Sergeant Nicole Samuels and Staff Attorney William McGuirt from the Union County Sheriff’s Department; Officer Johnathan Williams, Officer Mike Smith, Lieutenant Beth Greene, Officer Davey Plyer, Sergeant Robert Bartlett and Officer Devin Wallace from the Monroe Police Department; Sergeant Jeremy Clark, Police Officer III Adam Torres, Police Officer III John Morrell and Detective Doug Hicks from the Albemarle Police Department; and Lieutenant Michael Everette from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Department;
For more information about the CIT program and upcoming classes, please contact LaShay Avery with any questions at 704-721-2713 or e-mail lashaya@pamh.org.

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