DATE: October 29, 2020
Media Relations Office
(301) 609-6538 or (301) 848-4799
Southern Maryland Regional Crisis Intervention Team Hosts Annual Training
20 Police and Corrections Officers Graduate 40-Hour Course
Charles County, MD… Last week, the Southern Maryland Regional Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) held a 40-hour certification course for police and corrections officers from Charles County and other local agencies as part of a continued commitment to advance training and awareness of handling calls for service relating to mental health and to help officers defuse problems associated with emotional or mental illness. The training focused on:
- Learning signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses;
- An introduction to local resources and partner agencies to assist those in crisis;
- Interactions with consumers of mental health services and their personal stories;
- Enhanced communication training and best practices for working with people in crisis.
“The Southern Maryland CIT course is based on the Memphis Model, which not only provides officers with enhanced training and communications skills, but it also fosters a better working relationship between officers and community partner agencies,” said Lieutenant Cari Baker, CCSO coordinator for the Southern Maryland CIT. “We have recently been expanding the training to include reviewing and adapting agencies’ policies and practices for responding to individuals dealing with mental illness.”
Although Charles County has been training officers for many years on diffusing dangerous situations and recognizing signs of mental illness, the Southern Maryland CIT was founded several years ago as a partnership between the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Charles County Core Service Agency/Local Behavioral Health Authority. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police joined shortly after. Since its inaugural training session in 2017, this group has trained police and corrections officers from each of these agencies as well as officers from the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Public Safety, La Plata Police Department, and the Department of Natural Resources Police.
“It is our priority to provide excellent service to people from all walks of life, especially those who battle mental illness and addiction,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “Having resources in place such as the Crisis Intervention Team is imperative to our mission. We are grateful to all of our partner agencies who work together to help everyone in our communities.”
For more information about the Crisis Intervention Team program, check out citinternational.org.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit www.ccso.us.
Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link: www.p3intel.com.