Blue Ridge Crisis Intervention Team
A Collaborative Mental Health and Criminal Justice Program
Serving the Counties of Augusta & Highland and the
Cities of Staunton & Waynesboro
History of CIT
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) concept originated in 1988 in Memphis Tennessee, following an event in which an armed man with a serious mental illness was shot and killed by police officers. The Memphis Police Department sat down with professors from the University of Memphis and representatives of mental health services providers and advocacy groups with hopes of forming positive alliances between mental health professionals and law enforcement officers. The goal was to adopt a collaborative strategy to make police response to individuals in crisis safer and more effective for all involved. They came to the conclusion that no program then in existence effectively addressed their goals of creating a safer and more effective method for law enforcement to resolve mental health crisis events. Their answer was to create the first CIT program, a collaboration of community agencies and groups from law enforcement, mental health professionals, advocates, consumers and families, joined together through improved communication and interdisciplinary training to help consumers dealing with crisis to find better resolutions and appropriate, timely referral to services and treatment without being funneled into the criminal justice system.
With the success of the Memphis program, CIT has been implemented and adapted to localities across the country, including several programs here in Virginia. The Blue Ridge Crisis Intervention Team began forming in the fall of 2007, laying the groundwork and researching ways to adapt the Memphis model to the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro and counties of Augusta and Highland. In July 2009, Blue Ridge CIT became functionally operational with the formation of its first taskforce. The interagency collaboration was punctuated by the signing of the first Memorandum of Agreement between Law Enforcement and non-sworn security officers for the transfer of an individualís custody during the ECO process. Blue Ridge CIT has implementing other aspects of various CIT programs, including a Mobile Crisis response along with a 40 hour CIT certification training for law enforcement officers.
Blue Ridge CIT was recognized as a fully operational program in June 2010.
Data entry and report generation for:
Transfer of Custody Program
CIT Related Calls for Service (Law Enforcement)
Jail Intake MH Survey
The Alert form is a Be On the Lookout (BOL) style form used primarily in situations where law enforcement officers may need more information to provide for their safety and the safety of the community or to be aware of the need to evaluate the appropriateness of initiating an Emergency Custody Order when interacting with a person that currently cannot be located. This form is restricted for use by certified prescreeners.
Effective date: September 14th 2009
Is an agreement, establishing the law enforcement to site transfer protocols, was signed by the community hospital Augusta Health, the Chiefs of Staunton and Waynesboro Police Departments, the Augusta County Sheriff, Valley Community Service Board, and the CIT Program Coordinator. This agreement also established, through examination of statutes, additional powers regarding the execution of ECOs and TDOs that the Security Officers can exercise under the provisions of the agreement. It may be used as a template or as reference for the creation of similar agreements in other areas of the state.
In 2011, through 554 Custody Transfers, this agreement saved Law Enforcement Officers more than 1,495 Duty Hours.
The Transfer of Custody form is used by law enforcement officers, hospital security officers, as well as pre-screeners giving an outline of when a ECO was issued for a consumer, when police transferred custody of the consumer to hospital security, as well as when the interaction with the consumer was concluded.
The curriculum agenda gives an overall outline of the session topics and structure of the 40 hour CIT trainings. For information on upcoming training opportunities contact Kelly Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org