The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has launched a pilot program aimed at helping members of the community affected by mental health illness and drug addiction.
This summer, the newly formed Community Assistance Response and Empowerment or CARE Team will have one full-time deputy per shift assigned to exclusively respond to and follow-up on mental health, suicide, overdose, and other calls for service involving critical issues.
“As part of the CARE Team, our deputies will conduct follow-ups to ensure families have adequate resources, services, and support,” stated Sheriff Mike Chapman in announcing the initiative.
The deputies assigned to the team are all School Resource Officers who are certified in Crisis Intervention Team training and Fair and Impartial Policing and Insight Policing. The team will link those experiencing a behavioral crisis to the available services and will work with their families. The goal of the CARE Team is to increase the safety at the scene for everyone—the person in crisis, the deputies, and community members, the agency stated.
The Sheriff’s Office held its 50th session of CIT training in April. The program helps law enforcement officers peacefully resolve potentially violent situations. All Sheriff’s Office deputies and dispatchers with at least two years on the job have completed the training. More than 700 local, state, and federal officers, as well as private organizations, also have completed CIT training through the agency.