Sheriff gets state-level honor for support of crisis intervention

Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson was recently recognized for his support of crisis intervention during a state-level conference sponsored by one of the nation’s most prominent advocacy groups for the mentally ill.

The organizers of the North Carolina Crisis Intervention Team Conference formally named Johnson as their “outstanding law enforcement executive of the year” during their latest annual event, which took place in Raleigh last week.

Johnson received this distinction, in large part, for his role as the “county champion” for the Stepping Up initiative, which aims to establish a 24-hour diversion center to provide appropriate treatment for low-level offenders with mental health or substance abuse issues.

Last week, the county’s board of commissioners approved what could be a milestone in this project when they assigned a “steering committee” to flesh out some plans for this center by the end of March.

Johnson was on hand Thursday to accept this honor at the conference, which is held every year under the auspices of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. According to the sheriff’s office, the newly-named outstanding law enforcement executive credited his receipt of the award to officers Matt Ward and James Harris of his own agency’s Crisis Intervention Team, as well as Linda Allison, the sheriff’s coordinator for the Stepping Up initiative.

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