Four rural Virginia counties have been developing a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program since 2002. While increasingly practiced thoughout the U.S., the New River Valley CIT program has set an example for how rural areas can implement these innovative programs with success.
CIT training equips law enforcement officers with the abiity to identify mentally ill individuals and refer them to proper mental health providers instead of jailing them.
Beginning with a $150,000 federal grant, 10 law enforcement officers and 10 civilians, the New River Valley CIT program has expanded greatly. Now equipped with a CIT Assessment Center since 2013, which has treated over 1,000 mentally ill individuals, the CIT program has saved law enforcement officers time and risk while providing those in need with proper care.