On November 2, 2016 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. eastern, the Smart Policing Initiative presented a webinar on “Community Responses to People in Crisis.” This webinar focused on the role of policing in assisting communities in addressing mental health concerns and described a range of response strategies for agencies to consider. Dr. Laura Kunard, Senior Research Scientist from CNA, facilitated this webinar. Dr. Kunard provided an overview of police-mental health collaboration models in the U.S. and reviewed of key features of effective community-police partnerships regarding mental health. The webinar featured three case studies of law enforcement response models to mental health. Sergeant Kelly Bush, Corporal Thomas Kelley, and Corporal Kannika Nimithkoune from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office shared their County’s strategy for addressing high utilizers of services. They also presented an overview of their agency’s community mental health response strategy. Lieutenants Brian Bixler and Charles Dempsey from the Los Angeles Police Department described a multi-layered approach that includes co-response teams, follow-up case managers, and triage/dispatch operators. Finally, Detective Brandee Casias from Salt Lake City Police Department described a regional crisis intervention training approach used across the state of Utah.
- The Pinellas County SPI Site Page: http://www.strategiesforpolicinginnovation.com/spi-sites/pinellas-county-florida-2015.
- Information about the BJA Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Sites: https://csgjusticecenter.org/projects/police-mental-health-collaboration-pmhc/law-enforcement-mental-health-learning-sites/.
- "Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses: The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement–Based Program," available online here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=245259.