LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) announced the implementation of a pilot program to empower community members affected by mental health illness and drug addiction.
The LCSO’s Office Community Assistance Response and Empowerment Team (C.A.R.E. Team) will assign one full-time deputy per shift to respond and follow up on mental health issues.
The goal is to increase safety at the scene for community members, deputies and the person in crisis.
Deputies assigned to the team are all current school resource officers, certified in both basic and advanced crisis intervention team training.
Sgt. Jamie Holben oversees the C.A.R.E. Team. Holben says it’s a chance to create community relations, with the LCSO hosting outreach events.
“We want to get out and have a moment with them outside of their moment of crisis so that way we have a better chance of building rapport with them and offering them services while they are more receptive to the advice that we receive them, versus in the middle of a mental health crisis,” said Holben.
The C.A.R.E. Team will be implemented beginning this summer.