The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a partnership program which joins local law enforcement, and mental health practitioners, in an effort to provide those individuals in need with an efficient, effective, respectful, and compassionate response.
In 1988, Memphis introduced the first crisis intervention team as a component to the community’s demand for safer, first responder crisis services. CIT partnerships led to changes in existing systems and stimulated the development of new infrastructures for services. Suicide attempts and mental health crisis concerns are recognized as a priority. Crises are about people, about our community, our families, our friends, and our loved ones. CIT is founded on principles of dignity, understanding, kindness, hope and dedication.
Local law enforcement officers from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Lake Charles Police Department attend 40 hours of in-classroom training; training on mental health signs and symptoms, appropriate medications and their side effects, a tour of local mental health facilities, use of verbal de-escalation, active listening skills and police tactics for safe restraint and use of force techniques. CIT officers are specially trained to deal with, and recognize people in crisis. They also direct them in the right direction to get the help needed.