Crisis Intervention Team (Cit) Week


WHEREAS, every year thousands of Virginians  of all ages, abilities, economic, racial, and social backgrounds experience mental health crisis; and 

WHEREAS, law enforcement and other first responders are often the first point of contact with individuals during a mental health crisis; and 

WHEREAS, Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) are evidence-based law enforcement, behavioral health, and community collaboration programs that improve community response to persons experiencing behavioral health crises in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and 

WHEREAS, CIT was initially established in Virginia in 2004 in the New River Valley and, since that time, has expanded to 33 CIT programs being implemented across more than  seventy five percent of the state, including 11 CIT programs with established CIT Crisis Assessment Centers; and 

WHEREAS, since 2004 more than 6,000 police, sheriffs, corrections officers, fire and rescue personnel, mental health practitioners, persons with mental illness and community advocates have completed the 40 hour CIT Core Training; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is recognized as a national leader in its establishment of a comprehensive statewide CIT initiative that includes the three essential components of CIT – community collaboration, infrastructure and training; and

WHEREAS,  the Secretariats of Public Safety and Homeland Security and Health and Human Resources, through the Departments of Criminal Justice Services and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services have collaborated to oversee the statewide development of CIT programs in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, since 2004, CIT members have used their skills to de-escalate potentially volatile behavioral health crises, provide better access to services for persons in crisis, and reduce inappropriate incarceration of persons with mental illness; and 

WHEREAS, on May 18 – 20, 2014, the Henrico County Police Department will host the 3rd annual CIT statewide training and conference in Short Pump, Virginia, to disseminate best practices, provide technical assistance to new and developing programs, present advanced training to CIT members and recognize those individuals who have performed outstanding service to their community as Crisis Intervention Team officers, first responders, mental health practitioners, trainers and advocates; and 

WHEREAS, the occasion of this statewide trainingis an opportunity to build upon a decade of progress and hard work, and renew our commitment to ensuring that individuals with mental illness are treated with dignity and respect; that the public, individuals and officers involved in these crisis situations are kept safe; and that access to treatment in lieu of incarceration remains a viable option whenever public safety will not be compromised; and 

WHEREAS, the establishment of Crisis Intervention Team Recognition Week will raise public awareness of the value of CIT programs in Virginia and help reduce stigma; 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize May 19 - 26, 2014, as CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM RECOGNITION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.