In 2022, the Department partnered with the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) to create the region’s first Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT). CIRT is comprised of one patrol officer and one clinician specializing in crisis intervention riding together in one vehicle. The purpose of CIRT is to provide an immediate response to de-escalate situations involving persons in crisis and connect them to resources that may help address their needs.
CIRT assists with de-escalating situations involving persons in crisis and connects them to resources that may help address their needs. They are dispatched and serve as the primary unit for calls regarding mental health crises, suicidal threats, suicide attempts/ self-harm, and emergency custody order/temporary detention order service. They are also able to self-dispatch or request to assist the primary officer on calls likely to create a crisis for an involved person, including death investigation, homicide, child abuse, sex offense, domestic violence, missing person, barricade, and other serious crimes or events. CIRT works four 10-hour shifts built around analyzing high-demand times for mental health calls. After a crisis, CIRT will follow up with individuals, family members, and caregivers to see if additional services are needed.
About the Team Members:
Patrol Officer Anderson was selected for CIRT in 2023. Officer Anderson has five years of law enforcement experience and is Crisis Response Team certified. He is passionate about treating every person he meets with dignity, understanding, and empathy.
Karen Wright, an Emergency Services Therapist from RACSB, is the other member of the CIRT. Ms. Wright has an Undergraduate degree in Psychology from VA Tech and Master’s degree in Counseling from Marymount University. She has 15 years of experience in emergency services providing crisis intervention/evaluation and collaborating with police and courts. She is also a resident in Counseling and a Certified Preadmission Screening clinician.