Officers begin Crisis Intervention Team training today at RCCC

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twenty-seven officers are scheduled to begin Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training today at the Rowan Campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
The participants are members of the sixth CIT class and represent law enforcement from four of the five counties served by Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare: Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly and Union. Graduation exercises for officers completing the 40-hour training will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Police Department.
The training is sponsored by Piedmont Behavioral and is patterned after the nationally renowned Memphis Tennessee Police Department CIT Program. The program was first introduced to this area in January 2008 through the collaborative efforts of the Rowan, Cabarrus and Union County Affiliates of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Piedmont Behavioral.
Classes are held quarterly in January, April, July and October. More than 100 officers from such departments as Cabarrus, Davidson, Rowan and Union County sheriffs’ departments, as well as the Kannapolis, Salisbury, Concord, Monroe, Lexington and Albemarle police departments have completed the program thus far.
The goal for the program is to train 25 percent of all area law enforcement as CIT officers.
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 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 or her department.
Members of the current class are: Sgt. Alan Lee, Master Police Officer Jon Russell, Officer Clay Hall, Officer Keith Smith and Capt. Scott Newell from the Concord Police Department; Lt. William Thompson, Detective Homero Andrade, Deputy Tracy Simpson and Detention Officer Kelly Martin from the Union County Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. J.L. Griffin, Police Officer Cindi Rinehardt, Police Officer Lance Fallen and Police Officer Misty Mabry from the Albemarle Police Department; Sgt. Charles Morgan, Sgt. Travis Furr and 911 Operator Supervisor Sonya Furr from the Kannapolis Police Department;
Officer Tina Harkey, Lt. Mark Coan, Officer Chris Rowan, Officer Glen Jenkins, Officer David Evatt and Officer Adam Craig from the Monroe Police Department; Master Police Officer Lynn Foster, Police Officer 1 Karl Boehm, Police Officer 1 Justin Crotty and Master Police Officer Corey Brooks from the Salisbury Police Department; and Lt. Darrell Burgess from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Department.
For more information about the CIT program and upcoming classes, contact LaShay Avery at 704-721-2713 or by e-mail at quinettar@ pamh.com.

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