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San Jose Police Department
PRESS RELEASE
According to Cal Govt. Code Sect 6254(f)
San Jose Police Department
Media Relations Unit
201 W. Mission Street, San Jose, CA 95110
Ph (408) 277-5339 Fax (408) 286-0923

SJPD Begins Reimagining Mental Health Crisis Response
Filed under Press Release, on 10/15/2020 8:00:00 AM by Author: Officer Steve Aponte #4390.

SJPD Begins Reimagining Mental Health Crisis Response

 

This week San Jose Police launched a new pilot program in collaboration with the County of Santa Clara Department of Behavioral Health pairing San Jose Police Officers and clinicians to more rapidly assist individuals in a mental health crisis. 

Officers in the program are dressed in a special uniform, receive additional mental health and de-escalation training, and respond to calls with the county’s MCRT (Mobile Crisis Response Team). 

The program will utilize enhanced referrals that better connect social services and community organizations to people who are experiencing a mental health crisis or may not have reached a crisis level. Goals include improving outcomes for individuals with mental illness, redirecting the mentally ill away from the criminal justice system and to the appropriate system of care. 

“People are experiencing a mental health crisis in alarming numbers, and this partnership will get help there faster. We have been working for a long time to build a better system that integrates county health with police response. This partnership is a giant first step in improving outcomes and reimagining approaches to mental health crisis” - Chief Eddie Garcia. 

Responding to in-progress calls with officers, clinicians will help de-escalate and resolve emergencies, minimizing police intervention. The teams of officers and clinicians will also conduct home visits through county referrals, identify people frequently in mental health crises, and connect them with services before we receive a 911 call.

"I applaud Chief Eddie Garcia and his team for their persistent, multi-year efforts to enlist County staff in a partnership that will enable us to respond to calls of severe emotional distress with someone bearing a psychology degree and empathetic ear rather than a gun and a badge." - Mayor Sam Liccardo 

“Partnerships like this can remove barriers that sometimes prevent the people most in need from getting the care they deserve.” - Cindy Chavez, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. 

The one-year pilot program is funded through a 2018 Department of Justice grant and has been in development for the past year. It includes two Officers and a supervisor in the field, two days a week. 

PIO's will be available after 1:00 PM for interviews. 


BY: Officer Steve Aponte #4390 AUTHORIZED BY: Acting Chief of Police Knopf 
DATE: 10/15/2020 TIME: 8:00 AM DATE: 10/15/2020 TIME: 7:00 AM



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