Loudoun County, VA (July 1, 2021) – Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman announced today the implementation of a pilot program to help empower members of the community who are affected by mental health illness and drug addiction.
This summer, the newly formed Loudoun Sheriff’s Office Community Assistance Response and Empowerment (C.A.R.E.) Team will assign one full-time deputy per shift to exclusively respond to and follow-up on mental health, suicide, overdose, and other calls for service involving critical issues. “As part of the C.A.R.E. Team, our deputies will conduct follow-ups to ensure families have adequate resources, services, and support,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.
The deputies assigned to the team are all current School Resource Officers and are certified in both basic and advanced Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, as well as Fair and Impartial Policing and Insight Policing. “By drawing upon each deputy’s crisis intervention training skills and combining the expertise of our mental health professionals in Loudoun County, the team can link a person experiencing a behavioral crisis to the appropriate services and provide other effective responses to our community members and their families,” added Sheriff Chapman.
The goal of the C.A.R.E. Team is to increase the safety at the scene for everyone - the person in crisis, the deputies, and our community members.
The LCSO will continue to partner with Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services and other community partners to support and serve community members who are affected by mental illness and drug addiction.
The LCSO continues to be a leader in crisis intervention training in the region and has provided a valuable skill set that has assisted our staff in many instances to peacefully resolve potentially violent situations. The agency recently held its 50th session of CIT training in April reaching another milestone in the regionally and nationally recognized program. The LCSO has trained over 700 personnel from the local, state, and federal levels, as well as private organizations.
In 2012, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman set a goal of training 25% of sworn personnel in CIT after assessing the number of incidents involving mental illness in the county. In 2017, the LCSO exceeded that goal by having 100% of all uniformed patrol and corrections deputies with two or more years trained in CIT. In addition, 100 percent of all dispatchers and call takers in the Emergency Communications Center are also trained in CIT.
The CIT program is designed to promote positive interactions between law enforcement and persons in crisis and reduce injuries to deputies and persons in crisis.