Who is Virginia Beach CIT?
The Virginia Beach Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a collaboration of professionals committed to assisting persons with mental illnesses and other brain disorders. This program includes mental health service providers, family members, and law enforcement officers. The two most important aspects of the CIT Program is the training provided to law enforcement officials and the 24 hour a day CIT Assessment Center where officers transport individuals for a crisis assessment, so they can be matched with the appropriate treatment. This is done to prevent arrests of those committing misdemeanor crimes due to their mental illness.
How Does the Virginia Beach CIT Program Work?
Officers of the Virginia Beach Police Department have been committed to the philosophy of CIT, a first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention, since 2008. Through enhanced training and organizational process improvements, officers deliver a higher level of service to all members of our community. Most importantly, citizens faced with mental health crises are now being offered proper assistance, injuries to officers and citizens are decreased and officers have saved lives of potentially violent individuals.
Crisis Intervention Team police officers are trained to effectively work with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and divert them to the health care system.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services supports the CIT
DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services) believes that CIT training can provide officers with knowledge and de-escalation skills which may decrease the necessity to use force in certain situations. DCJS further believes that the CIT program is an integral part of law enforcement professionalism.