Sergeant John Yestrebsky coordinates the Lafayette Police Crisis Intervention Team. By the end of 2012, 52 of the 132 sworn officers on the Lafayette Police Department had been trained in CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) protocol.
Training 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 2012 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
Methods of approaching a crisis situation
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.