The St. Paul Police Department says their new mental health unit is dedicated to connecting people with community resources and reducing escalations that could result in use of deadly force.
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The Arlington Police Department has been acknowledged for its compassionate approach to facing a mental health crisis and the One Mind Campaign is setting the standard for police response.
In the past year the department has trained nearly all its officers to handle a mental health crisis and as a result, the department says its use of force and officer-involved shootings are down exponentially over the past 15 months.
Iowa leads the nation in the number of counties who have signed the Stepping Up agreement, pledging to reduce the number of arrests and incarcerations of people with serious mental illness.
Before the Colorado Springs Police Department started its Community Response Team to better assist residents dealing with mental health issues, one woman was calling 911 about 300 times a year.
The Gallia, Jackson, and Meigs Sheriff’s Offices in collaboration with Hopewell Health Centers have been selected to participate in the National Mental Health-Law Enforcement Learning Site Program through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Council of State Governments Justice Center.
Post-trauma treatment programs hold promise for officers that have been exposed to critical incidents, deaths, and other stressors. As one example, the Franciscan Center Post-Trauma Education and Retreat Program served Tampa Police Department officers, who later reported positively on its impact on their healing process.
Established in June, the Public Safety Partnership is a DOJ-wide program that enables cities to consult with and receive coordinated training and technical assistance and an array of resources to enhance local violence-reduction strategies.
Under the leadership of Chief Michael Sauschuck, the Portland Police Department created a Behavioral Health Response Program that, among other innovations employs a full-time clinical social worker as a behavioral health coordinator and retains master’s-level interns from the University of Southern Maine’s clinical counseling program.
“There has been a greater appreciation for the need for officers to be well versed in how to deal with people in crisis,” said Frank Straub, Director of Strategic Studies for the Police Foundation.