Deputy Division Director, Behavioral Health
Ernest Stevens oversees the portfolio of work focused on improving outcomes for people experiencing behavioral health conditions and homelessness who encounter law enforcement. Ernest supports communities in adopting, implementing, and evaluating new practices. Previously, Ernest spent over 28 years in law enforcement helping develop new programs and policies for the San Antonio Police Department. He also worked as a program manager for the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council that oversees emergency operations for 22 counties in Texas. Ernest was featured in the Emmy Award–winning documentary Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops. Ernest also wrote Mental Health and De-Escalation: A Guide for Law Enforcement Professionals. He earned his BS in criminal justice from Wayland Baptist University.