Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Watauga County Sheriff’s Department recently hosted a Crisis Intervention Training course at Watauga Medical Center.
A total of 22 participants including officers from Avery County Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police Department, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, and Appalachian State University Police Department completed Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) at Watauga Medical Center the week of April 30 thru May 4, 2012. Other participants were telecommunicators from ASU and a Chaplain with Avery County Sheriff’s Office.
CIT is an intensive 40-hour training curriculum that educates officers about a variety of mental illnesses, addictive diseases and developmental disabilities. Officers learn how to better respond to an individual in a mental health crisis and help those individuals receive appropriate care. The objectives of the training were to increase law enforcement’s knowledge about mental illness; to learn about their community resources; to learn how to connect mental health clients to the appropriate services and to avoid incarceration and involuntary commitments when appropriate.
The CIT program is a community based collaborative between consumers, families, the Mental Health Local Management Entity,, law enforcement agencies, mental health providers, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) consumer advocacy organization, the community college, and the medical community.
Law enforcement officers are frequently first responders to people in crisis. Therefore, CIT training facilitates ongoing collaboration between law enforcement and the mental health community. CIT is designed to assist law enforcement officers who respond to incidents involving people experiencing a crisis. Police officers receive training on a variety of topics, including an Overview of Mental Health, Geriatrics, Substance Abuse/Co-Occurring Disorders, Special Concerns with Adolescents, Mental Health Commitment Process, Personality Disorders, Developmental Disabilities, Autism, Suicide, Trauma and its aftermath, Homelessness Crisis Intervention and De-escalation, site visits, and hands on exercises.
The training received in this course will help our community’s law enforcement officers protect themselves in encounters with consumers suffering from mental illness and the knowledge learned will result in safer encounters for our citizens with mental illness.
Watauga County Sheriff’s Office:
Sergeant Todd Lyons
Deputy William Gilliam
Deputy Gerald Townsend
Boone Police Department:
Lieutenant Donnie Goodman
Senior Patrol Officer Dennis O’Neal
Patrol Officer James Long
Senior Patrol Officer Tylor Greene
Patrol Officer Jason Reid
ASU Police Department:
Senior Patrol Officer Michael Baker
Patrol Officer Dennis Fletcher
Support Services Manager Sandra Evans
Telecommunications Supervisor Angela Stewart
Avery County Sheriff’s Office:
Deputy Jack McCloud
K9 Deputy Casey Lee
Deputy Timothy Clawson
Deputy Daniel Jones
Deputy Ralph Coffey
Chaplain Ron Greene
Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office:
Deputy Timothy Rhoades
Deputy Thomas Cheek
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police Department:
Sergeant Mary Carrero
Patrol Officer Dustin Clark