Mental health cuts affecting area law enforcement agencies - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mental health cuts affecting area law enforcement agencies

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

As the nation tries to come to terms with the tragedy in Connecticut, there's a lot of discussion about mental health issues.

The gunman had a history of mental illness, as did some of the gunmen in other mass killings.

But dealing with the mentally ill costs money, money that's being cut in Louisiana. Those cuts are now affecting law enforcement.

"That's one of the deals that we deal with out in the street, because we don't have the services or houses to take these individuals when they're in crisis," said Lieutenant David Anders with the Lake Charles Police Department. 

He said cuts are making big changes compared to years past, in turn making the job for law enforcement officers a little more difficult.

"If we don't have some place to house them, to get them off the streets, to get them the medical assistance and the treatment that they need, it's going to be a revolving door," said Anders. "We'll bring them in. They'll treat them for two or three days, and then they'll release them. Whereas in the past, years ago, when they were released, they would release them into some type of temporary housing facility where they would continue the treatment and services." 

Until 2006, area officers weren't trained in depth in dealing with the mentally ill. But now, they are thanks to the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).

"The CIT class provides 40 hours of specific training on mental health related issues," said Anders. "If we can resolve one incident without deadly force, then the program is a success. And we've been able to do that throughout the years since 2006 when our first class started."

The training teaches officers what to look for and how to handle certain situations. In all cases, officers must determine whether it's a true criminal case or the individual needs medical help.

"If it's something we need to make an arrest on, then by all means we will make that arrest," said Anders. "But if it's something that's not, and we can get that individual the psychological help that they need, then that's the first priority that we need to do and we will do."

Lieutenant Anders said eventually all officers in the area will go through the CIT training.
As of now, he's planning to hold the next class in March.

Copyright 2012 KPLC All rights reserved.
  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • LC native buys over 200 tickets for community to see Black Panther

    LC native buys over 200 tickets for community to see Black Panther

    Saturday, February 17 2018 7:24 PM EST2018-02-18 00:24:57 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    Theaters around the country including right here in Lake Charles are selling out for the movie Black panther.  But for many in the community they got a chance to see the movie for free, thanks to one Lake Charles native.  The mall food court was packed Saturday.  As a large group enjoyed their tea,lemonade, pizza and boudin, but the mall food court wasn't their final stop. Because everyone was headed to the movies to see Black Panther.  Marrion Borden was so e...More >>
    Theaters around the country including right here in Lake Charles are selling out for the movie Black panther.  But for many in the community they got a chance to see the movie for free, thanks to one Lake Charles native.  The mall food court was packed Saturday.  As a large group enjoyed their tea,lemonade, pizza and boudin, but the mall food court wasn't their final stop. Because everyone was headed to the movies to see Black Panther.  Marrion Borden was so e...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Some warm and dry weather through Monday, before more rain on Tuesday

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Some warm and dry weather through Monday, before more rain on Tuesday

    Saturday, February 17 2018 5:31 PM EST2018-02-17 22:31:50 GMT
    Dry weather expected for SundayDry weather expected for Sunday

    Tonight, the showers will start to wind down. There should not be much rain left after midnight. Clouds will linger overnight. It will still be a muggy night, with temperatures not cooling down very much. I’m forecasting a low of 59 degrees, but it may not cool down that far overnight. By Sunday, the same front that stalled over us, will begin to weaken. Therefore, I do not think there will be many showers around. I’m keeping a 20% for a little bit of drizzle overnight.

    More >>

    Tonight, the showers will start to wind down. There should not be much rain left after midnight. Clouds will linger overnight. It will still be a muggy night, with temperatures not cooling down very much. I’m forecasting a low of 59 degrees, but it may not cool down that far overnight. By Sunday, the same front that stalled over us, will begin to weaken. Therefore, I do not think there will be many showers around. I’m keeping a 20% for a little bit of drizzle overnight.

    More >>
  • Captain Daniel Johannes Goos statue unveiled in Lake Charles

    Captain Daniel Johannes Goos statue unveiled in Lake Charles

    Saturday, February 17 2018 4:53 PM EST2018-02-17 21:53:50 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    It's been more than five years in the making, but Saturday Captain Daniel Johannes Goos now stands over the lakefront in Lake Charles.  Crowds of people gathered by the Lakefront Promenade this morning all waiting to see the the statue of Captain Daniel Johannes Goos.  "When you mention Captain Daniel Goos you may get he sounds familiar or if you're lucky you get oh like Goosport," said descendant Erik Jessen.

    More >>

    It's been more than five years in the making, but Saturday Captain Daniel Johannes Goos now stands over the lakefront in Lake Charles.  Crowds of people gathered by the Lakefront Promenade this morning all waiting to see the the statue of Captain Daniel Johannes Goos.  "When you mention Captain Daniel Goos you may get he sounds familiar or if you're lucky you get oh like Goosport," said descendant Erik Jessen.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly