CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM HISTORY

The current departmental tactical unit bears the designation Crisis Response Team (CRT). The formation of the CRT in 1993 was directed by then Chief Deputy Jeff Wiley under the administration of Sheriff Harold Tridico.

Capt. Paul Robert was designated as the CRT Commander and he and Deputy Commander Lt. Benny Delaune assembled the original team. The original CRT was comprised of Capt. Paul Robert, Lt. Benny Delaune, Lt. Dan Falcon, Lt. Bobby Webre, Det. C.J. Matthews, Dy. Bill Wade, and Dy. Dean Smith.

The unit’s first training session was conducted on June 14, 1993. On July 26, 1993, the unit began a training regimen conducted by hostage-rescue instructors with experience in some of the world’s most elite military tactical units. Their first live-fire training day took place on August 9, 1993, in the old rubber-tire shoothouse at the now defunct Louisiana State Police range facility in Walker, LA.

In February of 1994, Capt. Will Cannon and Sgt. Brett Babin were added to the team. On August 10, 1994, a selection process for new members was conducted and Craig Beaman and Tyson Dennis joined the unit. Because of a need to expand, along with natural attrition, another selection process was conducted in March of 2000. As a result, Donald Capello, Johnny Darville, Andy Gremillion, John Griffin, Ward Webb, and Gerald Whealton were added to the CRT.

On April 1, 2006, Sgt. Andy Gremillion was transferred from Patrol to the Training Center and named to the newly-created position of CRT Tactical Supervisor. His duties included training development and implementation, tactical oversight, and overseeing day-to-day operation of the unit.

The CRT gained a key asset in August of 2001 when Dr. Chris Trevino, a trauma emergency room doctor, was commissioned and assigned to the unit.

In May of 2006, the CRT held its largest selection process to date. Twenty-five officers participated in the newly designed process, with ten being selected and added to the unit. Added were David Baldwin, Sam Caston, Marc Dufren, Dan Foulds, T.J. Gaughf, Joey Mayeaux, Tony Nethken, Blake Prejean, Steven Thrash, and Eric Villavaso.
In January of 2009, the CRT acquired a key piece of equipment – a Tactical Rescue Vehicle (TRV). Manufactured by LENCO Armored Vehicles and designated the Bearcat, this armored vehicle was purchased using forfeited funds seized from drug dealers. A group of CRT members traveled to Orlando, Florida, and took possession of the TRV from LENKO where it had been on display at the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show.

Also in January of 2009, another selection process for new team members adding the following officers were added to the CRT: David Dykes, Trevor Reeves, Darryl Smith, Tony Tureau, David Labouliere.

March of 2009 saw the addition of another key piece of equipment to the CRT inventory – an ANDROS robot. Also in March, Dr. William “Beau” Clark joined Dr. Trevino as a member of the CRT’s medical detachment.

In November of 2009, an opening for the position of Tactical Supervisor became available and, after an extensive selection process, Lt. C.J. Matthews was named to the position and Lt. Donald Capello was named Deputy Tactical Supervisor.

In January of 2012 another selection process was held to choose new CRT members to fill open slots on the team. After another exhaustive process the following officers were added to the team: Ryan Blank, Justin Brown, Milton Cayette, Chance Crocket, Brad Gomez, Jason Jones, and Quinn Leblanc.

The CRT moved into a new home in February of 2012 when the new APSO Training Center at 9094 St. Landry Road was occupied. In the new center the CRT has a 2500 square foot bay dedicated exclusively to meeting the training, operations briefing, and equipment storage needs of the team. For the first time the team’s equipment truck, tactical rescue vehicle, and robot trailer are able to be kept fully loaded in a climate-controlled environment to be able to respond to an incident at a moment’s notice.