Purdue police officer recognized for her efforts in mental health program

November 13, 2015  

Wiete award

Purdue police Lt. Lesley Wiete, at left, receives a career service award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness – West Central Indiana. (Purdue University photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University police officer Lt. Lesley Wiete on Nov. 4 was honored with a Career Service Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - West Central Indiana.

The award, presented at the organization’s annual banquet, recognizes Wiete’s work in helping to create and support the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program for law enforcement agencies and other emergency service providers in Tippecanoe County. CIT programs are designed to help first responders effectively deal with those experiencing a mental health crisis.

According to the NAMI website, approximately 2 million jail bookings annually involve a person with a mental illness.

“This means that police officers and other first responders are very often a first point of contact with someone suffering a mental illness,” said Purdue police chief John Cox. “It’s important for us to be aware of this and know how to handle such situations, and Lt. Wiete’s efforts have been instrumental in doing just that.”

Wiete has served on the Purdue University Police Department since 1999 and has been a patrol officer, shift sergeant and shift lieutenant. Wiete was one of the first PUPD officers to be CIT certified and has been the program leader for Purdue’s police and fire departments.

Founded in 1979, NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. NAMI West Central Indiana (NAMI-WCI) serves Tippecanoe County, as well as Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Warren and White counties. 

Source: John Cox, 765-494-8221, jkcox@purdue.edu 

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