Our Officer Training Program is 40 hours. This primary program is taught Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. A night course has been established for Reserve Officers and others who cannot attend the normal schedule. The night course is taught once per year. A specialized program was also created for SRO and DARE Officers and it is 40 hours as well. An 8 hour course was created for Dispatchers to help them identify potential CIT calls and respond appropriately. The Dispatcher Program and the SRO DARE Program have been recognized nationally.

The core of the CIT Training Programs is an emphasis to de-escalate individuals in crisis by talking to them and then working with them to assist in getting them to proper medical treatment. In approximately 5 % of the encounters the individuals are so out of touch with reality that they become a threat to themselves or someone else. Law enforcement officers must have control of the situation to prevent injury and to protect property. Everyone must obey the commands of the officer. If these commands are not or can not be obeyed voluntarily, the officer must use the necessary degree of force to obtain compliance.

The Northeast Delta CIT Program is supportive of the use of a device known as a Taser. These devices can be used to immobilize the individual for a few seconds while the law enforcement officers take them into custody to assist them. The entire procedure is over in a few seconds and the individual can be safely transported to medical care without any lasting effects. In contrast, pain inducing devices are much less effective than the Taser in controlling people in a mental illness crisis.

The goal of our CIT program is to have a minimum of 20% of the law enforcement officers in all agencies in our 12 parish region trained as CIT officers. At the present time several agencies have exceeded this 20% minimum. There are, however many agencies that do not yet have a CIT officer.

Within two years of training our first class, we had trained over 250 Law Enforcement Officers and over 120 Dispatchers and other crisis call-takers. These officers and dispatchers serve in all 12 parishes of Northeast Louisiana. In addition, officers from the Alexandria Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office and the New Orleans Police Department have attended CIT classes and Train the Trainer classes. Our team receives requests and has assisted other areas in starting CIT programs. Our team is always available to assist other agencies with their CIT programs.

Starting in the 2008-09 fiscal year, we were able to offer 30 scholarships to agencies to help offset the expenses of an officer in training. These scholarships were funded by the Region VIII Office of Mental Health. We hope to be able to continue with this scholarship program indefinitely.

Please see the Training section for details regarding all of these programs. Please see What’s New on the home page for our updated training numbers.

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.