The Rockbridge - Bath Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is designed to protect the safety, dignity, and rights of persons suffering from mental health issues and protect the community from potentially dangerous behavior. CIT deputies have specialized training in recognizing signs and symptoms of persons experiencing a behavioral crisis while maintaining officer and public safety.
Crisis Intervention Team Goals
The goals of CIT is to promote positive interactions between law enforcement and persons in crisis, prevent inappropriate restraint, incarceration and stigmatization of persons with mental illness, reduce injuries to deputies and persons suffering from mental illness as well as their families. It is also to link individuals and their families to appropriate treatment and resources in the Rockbridge County Community.
The CIT training helps prepare law enforcement officers and emergency dispatchers to calmly and effectively communicate with citizens experiencing a behavioral crisis. Additionally, the training included intervention techniques for deputies or officers responding to scenes for a person who may be suicidal.
The training includes classroom instruction and role play exercises which enable law enforcement personnel to gain a better understanding of the experience of living with serious mental illnesses. It was taught by certified CIT Sheriff's Deputies, officers from the Buena Vista, Lexington, and VMI Police Departments, mental health professionals and other experts within the field. During the 40-hour training, students are introduced to social, psychological and legal aspects associated with mental illness, as well as Aspergers, Autism, and the Wounded Warrior Program.