Development of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit


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Presented by: Officer William Kasberg and
Officer Ernest Stevens

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Development of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit

  1. 1. Development of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit Officer William Kasberg & Officer Ernest Stevens
  2. 2. How we got started <ul><li>Signing up for CIT class </li></ul><ul><li>Thursday Nami- Family Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Jeanine Owens </li></ul>
  3. 3. Jeanine Owens
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ Knew what could be” </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ Tired of what was” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Community effort in starting up the Mental Health Unit <ul><li>Judge Polly Jackson Spencer </li></ul><ul><li>Judge Oscar Kazen </li></ul><ul><li>NAMI </li></ul><ul><li>Private Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Asst. Chief Harry Griffin (You must have a champion within the department) </li></ul>
  7. 7. How is the unit funded ? <ul><li>The unit currently consists of 2 Patrol Officers and 1 Sergeant. The City pays salaries and provides vehicles. </li></ul><ul><li>The (LMA) Center for Health Care Services provides office space and computers. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Working with Mental Health Assessors <ul><li>SAPD assists the Mental Health Assessors with calls that come into the crisis line. </li></ul><ul><li>SAPD will provide safety for the assessors and also transport if the patient requires further treatment. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Duties of Mental Health Unit <ul><li>Sergeant </li></ul><ul><li>Receives reports from patrol/referrals-prioritizes </li></ul><ul><li>Case Management </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health Officers </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to calls from patrol </li></ul><ul><li>Assist with Crisis Line </li></ul><ul><li>Internal request for follow up </li></ul>
  10. 10. Designing hours of operation <ul><li>Hours of operation was based on the amount of emergency detentions conducted by patrol. Most ED’s occurred from 6pm – 4am. Mental Health Unit works from 8pm – 4am M-F. </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of hours of operation the demand for a specialized CIT Unit exists </li></ul>
  11. 11. How we dress and what we drive <ul><li>Officers wear plain clothes and drive an unmarked car. This is vital for de-escalation and developing rapport. </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health Unit since inception Dec. 2008 has ZERO use of force incidents. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Stat sheet and why <ul><li>Data is very important for the unit. The stat sheets reflect: </li></ul><ul><li>Patrol officers returned to service </li></ul><ul><li>Patrol man hours saved … = $$$. </li></ul><ul><li>High Utilizers </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mental health courts <ul><li>Mental Health Courts are utilized to assist consumers who are charged with a misdemeanor crime. </li></ul><ul><li>If found guilty, the consumer has to follow court guidelines such as; follow up with Doctor, counseling, and medication compliance. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Priorities <ul><li>Patrol </li></ul><ul><li>High utilizers </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Assisting within our own Department </li></ul>
  15. 15. Who we train <ul><li>SAPD </li></ul><ul><li>SAFD </li></ul><ul><li>Cadets </li></ul><ul><li>Disp/call takers </li></ul><ul><li>BCSO </li></ul><ul><li>School police </li></ul><ul><li>Agencies outside San Antonio </li></ul><ul><li>Non-police – APS, CPS, DA’s Office, Probation </li></ul>
  16. 16. Learning as we go <ul><li>Autism case </li></ul><ul><li>Arson case </li></ul>
  17. 17. CIT Officer Selection <ul><li>Announcement of position </li></ul><ul><li>Interview process </li></ul><ul><li>Who comprises review board </li></ul><ul><li>Questions asked </li></ul>
  18. 18. Future outlook <ul><li>Expansion of the Unit. The Mental Health Unit will add 2 more Officers on June 11 th 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>With good data the Unit expects to continue to grow. </li></ul>