Child Development Community Policing (CDCP) has served as a model for law enforcement-mental health cross-training partnerships across the country, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg is proud to have one of the oldest and largest programs of this kind in the nation.
During professional cross training, officer-clinician teams receive instruction and in-vivo learning on topics including:
The effects of violence on child neurological and physical development, behavior, and family function.
How to provide supportive intervention, safety planning, and service linkages.
When and how to make appropriate CDCP referrals and the local resources available to assist impacted families.
In the CDCP model, clinicians and officers together connect vulnerable children and families to support and recovery resources, interrupting a trajectory that otherwise could contribute to increased risk of longer-term mental health problems, academic struggles, further victimization, encounters with the criminal justice system, or even perpetuation of the cycle of violence.
Child Development Community Policing (CDCP) services ensure that mental health clinicians are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond immediately with police to child victims or witnesses of violence or other trauma. Working together, police and child trauma clinicians coordinate multi-system interventions that re-establish safety, security, and well-being, in the immediate aftermath of violence.
The goals of the CDCP program are to:
Facilitate immediate officer awareness and identification of children exposed to violence and other trauma, and
Increase expert clinical assessment and swift coordinated services for all impacted children and families.
The U. S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recognizes the program as a successful model and has designated Yale University as the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV), with Charlotte-Mecklenburg as the NCCEV Southeast Regional Training Center.
The Charlotte and New Haven CDCP teams collaborated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as contributors to "Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement" available nationwide to inform police responses for children exposed to violence.