Frequent Questions

What do I do if I or my family member is in a crisis?
Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency immediately.

What is CIT?
CIT stands for Crisis Intervention Team. The primary emphasis is on assisting people with a mental illness crisis in the best manner possible. The roots began in Memphis in the late 1980s. From that point, the CIT concept has grown to international proportions. Currently, there are several different models for a CIT program. However, our Northeast Delta CIT program is founded on the Memphis Model which is the original and has been considered the gold standard. Following this model, our program has been adapted to meet the specific needs of our 12 parish region.

Does it cost for an officer to attend CIT training?
No. The Northeast Delta CIT Training Program is funded in part by the Northeast Delta Human Services Authority of the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health. Additional funding, resources, locations, support, and instructors are provided by the North Delta Regional Police Academy, area police departments, area sheriff’s offices, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and a variety of businesses, organizations, and individuals. As a result of these generous donations of time, talent, locations, and funds, we are able to offer our CIT training at no cost to the officer or to the department. We do accept and appreciate donations from anyone who is interested through our donation page.

What is the scholarship program?
The Northeast Delta CIT Training Program has some scholarships available to help law enforcement with the costs associated with sending an officer to training. These costs may include overtime pay, officer replacement costs, travel, etc. For more information and specific requirements, please contact Detective Mark Johnson. The Scholarship Application form is provided on the CIT Training page.

What if I will have to miss a day of training?
For the most part, you will need to schedule to attend a different session when you will be able to attend every day. The program is designed for a 40 hour week of training. Each session is important and valuable to the overall understanding and learning process.

Can I attend the CIT Dispatcher Training if I am a dispatcher with a fire department?
Yes you can. Our Dispatcher Training is open to anyone who may take calls for emergencies. This includes fire departments, ambulance services, and crisis lines. In addition, some professionals who want to assist us will start by going through our Dispatcher Training program. Please contact us and we can discuss the appropriateness of the training for you or your employees.

Can I attend CIT Training if I am a medical professional?
Yes you can. We have had medical professionals attend our 40 hour program as well as our 8 hour program. In addition, we are developing a program specifically for medical professionals who may encounter individuals in a mental illness crisis. Please see our Training Schedule page to identify when this course will be offered or call for further information.

What is the CIT pin?
The CIT pin is worn by CIT Officers and Dispatchers. It is a way to identify those who have completed our training program and have specialized skills for dealing with a mental health crisis. Also, Task Force members, volunteers, and supporters wear a CIT pin with pride in acknowledgment and support of the program.

Our pin can be easily recognized and is represented on our website at the top left corner. The design has been placed on posters in our region to increase awareness. The poster states "CIT Cops. Here to Help. Look for the Pin."

The idea for the pin started at the very beginning in Memphis. Since then, most CIT programs have created their own unique pin. The Northeast Delta CIT pin was created by Detective Mark Johnson.

Are all officers trained in CIT?
All law enforcement officers in the state of Louisiana must receive training in mental disorders, physical disabilities, etc. per the Louisiana Peace Officers Standards and Training. These courses are taught at police academies throughout the state. CIT training, however, is advanced training and concepts. Officers volunteer for the program. Preferably, these officers will have at least one year of experience working with the public. All officers are not CIT trained. The Memphis Model emphasizes a goal of 20% of each agency to be CIT trained. This should allow for CIT officers on all shifts even with days off, vacations, and illnesses.

What is the difference between a CIT officer and a regular police officer?
All officers are trained in mental illness issues. CIT officers receive additional advanced training on mental illness issues and methods to deescalate a crisis situation.

Can I request a CIT Officer when I call 911?
Yes but this will actually depend on the jurisdiction. Some 911 call centers are manned by law enforcement personnel. These centers should be familiar with CIT and the call taker is likely a CIT Dispatcher. In this case, the community is encouraged to ask for a CIT officer when calling about a mental illness crisis. This also applies if you call a law enforcement agency directly (rather than using 911). Please state clearly that it is a mental health crisis. You may be asked for additional information to help identify the best course of action.

Some 911 call centers do not have any connections with law enforcement agencies. These centers have employees who are more like telephone operators. They need the type and location of the emergency only. Then, they forward the call to the appropriate agency. Even if they are familiar with CIT, they have no control over the officers responding. They only forward the call to the appropriate agency.

Everyone is also encouraged to look for the pin on the uniforms of law enforcement personnel in our 12 parish region.

Will I be charged with a crime if a CIT officer comes out?
Mental illness is not a crime. A mental illness crisis does not mean that a crime has been committed. Needing a CIT officer does not mean that someone has committed a crime. Without a crime, there will be no charge. However, anyone can commit a crime. If someone has committed a crime, they will be managed accordingly, regardless of mental illness or physical disability.

Will a CIT officer leave me in the emergency room lobby?
CIT officers are trained to assist people in a crisis in the most appropriate manner possible. If transport to an emergency room is needed, CIT officers have been trained on proper procedures. The CIT officer should speak directly with the ER staff identifying the crisis situation; the officer tries to remain until a smooth transition has occurred; and the officer should provide the ER staff with a copy of a CIT report. Louisiana law states that any law enforcement officer should be released immediately upon presenting with a citizen at a medical facility. However, through the CIT program and whenever reasonably possible, the officers try to work with the hospital staff to make the best and safest transition as possible for all concerned.

Where can I get more information about CIT, mental illness, or treatment options?
Please visit our Resources page for links to a variety of groups or agencies with more specific information. These include public and private agencies. Also, you may call 2-1-1 (United Way 211). They help people by providing contact information to almost every possible resource available throughout northeast Louisiana.

Where can I get more information about law enforcement agencies who participate in the Northeast Delta CIT program?
Please visit our Law Enforcement Agencies page. Many of our Agencies have websites as well. The links are provided on the Agency page and on the Resources page.

What do I do if I am interested in becoming involved with the Northeast Delta CIT Training Program or with the Region VIII Mental Health Community Response Task Force?
Contact us by phone or by email. We appreciate any help and there are a variety of areas that people may assist and get involved.

SPEAKER REQUEST Please contact us if you are in need of a speaker for your civic group or organization. We will be more than happy to speak to your group about Crisis Intervention Team Training, the Northeast Delta CIT, and mental illness awareness and education. We will tailor the program to your needs and available time. You may contact us by phone or by email on our contact page.