The Virginia Beach Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a collaboration of local departments committed to assisting community members with mental illnesses and other brain disorders. This partnership includes law enforcement officers, mental health providers and other first responders. 

The Virginia Beach CIT training consists of 40 hours of a curriculum designed specifically to teach verbal de-escalation tactics and mental health awareness. 

Virginia Beach law enforcement, first responders and mental health professionals, are instructed by subject matter experts in mental health disorders and behaviors, treatments, and how best to assist community members living with a diagnosis and their families.

Our Crisis Intervention Team is built on a foundation of partnerships. The Virginia Beach CIT Program consists of several committed community stakeholders including: 

The Virginia Beach CIT program was developed in 2008 and opened our CIT Assessment Center in 2010. In continuing with our community partnerships, our center is located inside the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center and is staffed by the Emergency Services Unit by the Department of Human Services, as well as a CIT Certified Virginia Beach Police Officer. 

Our center is open 24/7, 365 days a year. The center offers immediate telephone or in-person crisis assessments, interventions and consultations. The staff also conducts screenings for psychiatric hospitalization and crisis stabilization.

Since the inception of our CIT program, it has seen growth and benefits, not only to the departments, but to the community. The impact has led to many program developments and implementations. In 2009, a mental health block was added to every Virginia Beach Police Academy and in 2011, instituted a basic CIT training for annual in-service for all officers to have a general background of CIT. 

The Virginia Beach CIT program was awarded Human Rights awards in 2010 and 2011. In 2014 and 2015 Virginia Beach was awarded Virginia CIT Officer of both years, and most recently awarded CIT International’s Police Executive of the year for 2020. Over 50% of the entire Virginia Beach Police Department is CIT Certified, and all 771 officers have received some form of Crisis Intervention and Mental Health training. 

The Virginia Beach Police Department requires certain units be CIT certified, such as: SWAT, School Resource Officers (SRO’s), OCOP (Oceanfront Officers), Warrants Division and Crisis Negotiators. The CIT Supplemental Staffing unit was developed in 2017 to offer more accessibility to CIT Trained officers for crisis calls in our community.

In 2018 VBPD deployed the Mobile Co-Response Team (MCRT). This team is a CIT trained police officer and mental health clinician, responding together, to crisis calls in the field. This allows for an expedited response to the scene, ensures safety, makes an accurate and compassionate assessment of needs, develops a plan to accomplish treatment, and can evaluate the individual in crisis as required, and transport the individual to a treatment facility. 

The MCRT not only allows for jail diversion, but diversion from emergent facilities, when other dispositions, such as private providers, same day access, or any outpatient and/or voluntary route can be reached.

The Virginia Beach Crisis Intervention team is proud of our CIT partnerships and continuing to strengthen these bonds, in and for our community.