CIT is an officer safety program providing law enforcement personnel with the skills to work safely and effectively with people in crisis and to provide options beyond incarceration to people with mental illness. Officers work closely with the Department of Human Services Crisis Intervention Center to quickly connect individuals with mental health professionals.
Training empowers officers with the skills to interact safely and effectively with mentally ill individuals and individuals in crisis. The training equips participants with a broader understanding of mental illness, helps to encourage empathy and reduces the stigma of mental illness.
The training encompasses not only Arlington’s police officers and deputies, but also includes officers from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority as well as law enforcement officers from other agencies across the County, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.
- 60% of ACPD patrol officers are CIT-trained. CIT officers are available to assist with mental health emergencies 24/7.
- Arlington County’s CIT program currently conducts four 40-hour trainings per year.
- Arlington’s CIT program has expanded to include other criminal justice partners who provide support to the police, including all of Arlington’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) dispatchers.
- Arlington has expanded CIT training for magistrates training to include our criminal justice partners throughout the county with a CIT training for legal professionals.
In 2008, Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) and the Department of Human Services joined together to establish the now rapidly growing Crisis Intervention Team program. CIT is an internationally recognized program and best practice that unites law enforcement officers, emergency dispatchers, mental health treatment providers, consumers of mental health services and other community agencies. These options include connecting individuals with community resources, emergency assessments, and crisis stabilization services.