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Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI)
Organizers of a local institute that trains and professionally certifies gang and crisis interventionists today are lauding its collaboration with an accredited psychological school as a much needed step toward saving lives and implementing the privately funded program as a national training model.
"Our partnership with the Chicago School of Professional Psychology brings a multitude of expertise to our efforts to produce the most experienced intervention professionals in the nation," said Aquil Basheer, executive director and founder of the Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI).
"This partnership will definitely set the standard for this type of work."
The announcement today of the strategic partnership with the downtown Los Angeles-based Chicago School--the nation's oldest and largest graduate university focused exclusively on psychology and related behavioral sciences--follows a ceremony honoring 30 members of the PCITI's third graduating class of men and woman who have dedicated themselves to serving as peacemakers in their respective neighborhoods.
Representatives at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology are equally thrilled with the new partnership.
With the help of the PCITI, the Chicago School, which includes crisis intervention training as part of its curriculum, hopes to enhance its training of psychologists by placing its candidates--who will receive credit toward their perspective degrees--as psychology interns with the PCITI.
"As a professional school, our focus is not strictly on research and theory, but on preparing students to become outstanding practitioners, by providing direct services to help individuals and organizations thrive," said Dr. Debra Warner, a forensic psychologist and lead faculty member of the Chicago School of Professional School's Forensic Department."
"Our school prepares students with superior theoretical and classroom preparation--coupled with an unrivaled range of real-world training experiences--opportunities to build on their multicultural and global sophistication."
Basheer added that the new partnership, along with the importance of a positive working relationship with local law enforcement and emergency responding agencies, adds a new perspective to the methods use by interventionist's to save lives and prevent senseless murders in their communities.
Los Angeles Police Sergeant Curtis Woodel said he has witnessed a noticeable change over the years in the way law enforcement interacts with gang interventionists. Woodel was one of several speakers who acknowledged the latest PCITI class Friday at a ceremony held in their honor.
"When law enforcement and the community work together, great things happen," said Woodel, who serves as Gang Intervention Liaison for department.
A host of family, friends and community supporters were also on hand to celebrate the graduates, who brought the total number of PCITI-trained interventionists to 175 and increased the size of the Professional Peacekeepers Collaborative Alliance--a multicultural with a mission to save lives, restore communities, provide hope, and implement solutions.
"I am extremely proud all of the participants of this third graduating class. They've proved themselves under tremendous pressure, stayed true to the task, and accomplished their personal missions to become part of a small group of individuals who possess some of the most sought after, specialized expertise in the nation."