Officers Mike Booth, John Hanqc, Brian Harlow, Tarek Helmy, Robert Hill, Stephen Riley, Daria Roy and Nathan Scott of the Alexandria Police Department; Medics Sarah Bowman and Chad Shade of the Alexandria Fire Department, and Wendy Baden and Tomieka Nicholson of Code Administration 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: Undersheriff Tim Gleeson (left) and Instructor Devon Neckles and Captain Robyn Nichols (both on right) congratulate the newest Sheriff’s Office CIT graduates. (l-r: Undersheriff Tim Gleeson, Deputy David Corso, Deputy George Wooden, Sergeant Waraphan Srikongyos, Deputy John Kayajanian, Sergeant Debra Hall, Lieutenant Monique Rea, CIT Instructor Deputy Devon Neckles and Captain Robyn Nichols)