Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Sites
In an effort to expand the knowledge base for law enforcement agencies interested in starting or enhancing a PMHC, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with assistance from a team of national experts and the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), selected ten police departments to act as national law enforcement/mental health learning sites. Located across the country, these learning sites represent a diverse cross-section of perspectives and program examples, and are dedicated to helping other jurisdictions improve their responses to people who have mental illnesses. Selected were: Arlington (MA) Police Department, Gallia, Jackson, Meigs Counties (OH) Sheriffs’ Offices, Houston (TX) Police Department, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department, Madison County (TN) Sheriff's Office, Madison (WI) Police Department, Portland (ME) Police Department, Salt Lake City (UT) Police Department, Tucson (AZ) Police Department, and University of Florida Police Department.
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The Law Enforcement/Mental Health learning sites collectively reflect the range of strategies a law enforcement agency might consider when developing a collaborative initiative to address the needs of individuals who have mental illnesses in their community. As centers of peer-to-peer learning and support, learning site personnel are committed to providing guidance to agencies in other jurisdictions that are interested in creating or expanding their own specialized policing responses including co-responder, CIT, and other models as part of their collaborations with community behavioral health agencies.
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“The learning site project creates a forum for policing officials to learn from one another how to adapt responses to people with mental illnesses, ensuring officers are better able to connect them to needed services, while increasing public safety, reducing arrests, and saving vital agency resources.”Chief, Portland Police Department, Michael Sauschuck