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Page updated Sep 23, 2013 11:33 AM

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Four Sheriff’s Office Employees Graduate from Crisis Intervention Team Training

Congratulations to the latest graduates of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training academy! Deputy Keith Crane, Deputy Marybeth Plaskus, Dwayne Kennedy and Lenora Murphy of the Sheriff's Office were among those recognized at a graduation ceremony on Friday, September 20 at police headquarters. Officers Mark Aiesi, Amanda Deptula, Danny Webb and Jordan Young, and Roy Bliss, Tonia Copeland and Cathy Gary of the Alexandria Police Department; Ericka Flournoy of the Department of Emergency Communications; Zubin Byramjee and James Woody of Probation/Parole; and Jason Cage and Amy Stephens of the Alexandria Fire Department also graduated in this session.

CIT was developed in collaboration with the Department of Community and Human Services, Alexandria Police Department, and Alexandria Sheriff’s Office to help improve staff interactions and outcomes with persons with mental illness and substance use disorders. Alexandria’s program includes staff from all first responding agencies to ensure that a comprehensive, City-wide approach is in place to assist those with mental illness.

Through their 40 hours of training, CIT members learn skills such as suicide intervention and verbal de-escalation techniques, explore the role of the family in the care of a person with mental illness, and receive legal training in mental health and substance abuse issues. CIT members also participate in role playing exercises based on real-life scenarios and spend a day visiting mental health and substance abuse inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities where they have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one dialogue with mental health consumers.

Since the program began in 2010, more than 50 deputies have completed CIT training and are able to use their specialized skills in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center, at the Alexandria Courthouse and in the community.

Photo: Chief Deputy Clarke Stearns and CIT Instructor Deputy Devon Neckles (center) congratulate CIT graduates Deputy Marybeth Plaskus (far left), Lenora Murphy (second from left), Deputy Keith Crane (second from right) and Dwayne Kennedy (far right).

 2013 Fall CIT graduates