Sergeant John Yestrebsky coordinates the Lafayette Police Crisis Intervention Team. It is the goal of the Lafayette Police Department to train every officer in CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) protocol.
NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)
helps train, organize, and support CIT officers. CIT members are specially trained to interact with members of the community who have mental health issues. The Crisis Intervention Team assists citizens with mental illness by de-escalating the situation and then obtaining appropriate medical treatment rather than arresting and incarcerating them for these behaviors. Training during 2015 for CIT officers was conducted at the Lafayette Police Department Training Center.
CIT certification consists of 40 hours of training covering topics such as:
- Available community resources
- Developmental disorders and treatments
- Mental illnesses
- Methods of approaching a crisis situation
- Psychotropic medications
- Suicide prevention
- Techniques for de-escalating the crisis
Although the overall effectiveness of CIT officers is hard to track, feedback has been positive and CIT officers are more effective at addressing mental health issues within the community.