The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to expand the number of employees assigned to the department’s Mental Evaluation Teams so they can respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to find ways to pay for the mission.
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Law enforcement in South Carolina would get more training in dealing with people having a mental health or substance abuse crisis under a bill that the state General Assembly could take up next year.
Mental-health professionals teaching Clermont police crisis-intervention techniques recently put their training into practice.
Baltimore County, Maryland will work with the nonprofit Council of State Governments Justice Center over the next six months to evaluate police training in behavioral health responses, de-escalation strategies, and cultural competence.
“Knowledge is power and I feel that if I can send officers out in the field with more knowledge and more tools for their tool box, then they will be able to handle mental health crisis calls better and foster better outcomes for all involved,” explained Domino Scott-Jackson, a Pasadena Police officer who has become the face of the Police-Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit video produced by The CSG Justice Center.
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the recent report issued by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice condemning various police practices in Baltimore. What has gone largely unmentioned, however, is the report’s detailed review of how encounters between police and people with mental illnesses result in “unnecessarily violent confrontations.”
“I believe that the collapse of the mental-health treatment system may be one of the greatest social failures in the United States in the 20th century,” said Santa Barbara County (CA) Undersheriff Bernard Melekian at a recent talk hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“The LAPD has a multilayered approach, which is necessary for a more comprehensive response to connect individuals with mental illness to the most appropriate services needed,” said Nicola Smith-Kea, policy analyst for the Law Enforcement Program of the Council of State Governments Justice Center.
NewsChannel 21 spoke with Bend police about a recent encounter with a suicidal man and how more mental-health calls is changing officer training.
By partnering beat cops with mental health clinicians, the L.A. Police Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit reined in costs associated with frivolous 911 calls. It also connected thousands of individuals with counseling and support, reducing incidences of force used on individuals with mental illness and alleviating the burden on overcrowded emergency rooms and the criminal justice system.