After a brief hiatus, the Crisis Response Team has returned to serve the city and its citizens.
The CRT is one of those invaluable resources that brings together the Beverly Hills community. Representatives of law enforcement, the fire department, schools and local businesses work together to provide on-scene crisis information, support and referrals to those affected by trauma and serious loss.
In an odd twist of fate, the CRT recently survived a crisis of its own. Future services were threatened when the program was discontinued by in December. The CRT staff and volunteers worked hard to find a new nonprofit to sponsor the program. Their efforts paid off when Chiron Center Inc., a Beverly Hills-based 501(c)3 nonprofit agency, agreed to sponsor CRT.
I am proud to say that after just a one-month hiatus, we are back in service, providing this vital service to our community. I say “we” and “our” because I have been a CRT member since its inception in 1998.
For those of us who staff CRT, having our pager sound during a holiday celebration—or at 3 a.m.—causes an initial gasp of anticipation. We then hear the voice of an officer explaining who needs us and why. Perhaps there has been a suicide, a homicide, a traffic collision. We grab our bag, call a partner, and within 30 minutes we are on our way with our mission to bring compassion to the scene.
The CRT bond created by assisting victims, witnesses, survivors and loved ones who have been through traumatic incidents might be described as impenetrable. Our bond was tested, however, when the Maple Center told us it was ending its sponsorship within two weeks.
During that time, the faces of the more than 8,000 individuals we had served over the last dozen years came flooding back. There was the devastated, lost look of the woman whose partner of 60 years passed away suddenly; the inconsolable, confused expression of the 10-year-old boy who had awoken to find that his mother had taken her own life; the frantic parents waiting for information about their teen who was involved in a fatal traffic collision.
Fortunately for these people and others, the CRT will be able to continue its work. The Chiron Center is dedicated to serving those affected by trauma and serious loss. It was founded by Anne E. Kellogg, a licensed marriage and family therapist who worked as CRT’s program coordinator for a decade.
I speak for each of my colleagues as we express profound thanks to the Maple Center for the creation of CRT, and for the opportunity to serve under its direction for more than a decade. We continue to refer those we assist to the Maple Center for follow-up care, counseling and its numerous valuable programs.
The CRT, the Chiron Center and Kellogg want residents to know that the CRT still needs help. We all have gifts to share—some may offer services, others supply resources. The group's annual 10-week volunteer training begins in October.
We deeply appreciate all support and contributions to our program whether they be in-kind donations, volunteer professional services, gifts for auction or cash. Please go to our website for more information. Thanks to our generous community for its support.
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