Designed to address the increase in calls for service involving persons with a mental illness or those who may be in emotional crisis, a Law Enforcement Mental Health Response Unit fills the gap between police officers and community mental health services. This specialized unit connects people in crisis with the care they need, reducing mental health crisis-related arrests, repeat calls for service and the risk of tragic outcomes.
You will learn how to plan, develop and implement a street level Mental Health Response Unit at your agency. We will introduce you to the different types of programs, review their successes and setbacks, and explore ways to customize the program to meet your specific needs. We will discuss strategies for obtaining your agency and community’s support, how to assess your community’s mental health resources, and how data research and analysis can assist with funding.
Establishing a Law Enforcement Mental Health Response Unit is quickly becoming an expectation within communities. This course will help you create a blueprint to research, develop and implement a program at your agency.
- How to conduct community and agency needs assessment to determine the community commitment and the level of direct response capabilities of your agency
- Determine manpower allocation needs for the unit and strategies to identify and recruit officers to staff the new unit
- Establish policies and procedures for managing the unit and develop a response protocol
- Create a budget and identify potential outside agency funding for staffing on-site healthcare professionals
Sworn and non-sworn personnel who are involved in the development of departmental programs. Whether you are a program developer, administrator or service provider, we believe this program will assist you in developing a customized program to meet the needs and expectations of your community.
About Your Instructor
Sgt. Jamie Sipes is a 23-year veteran of law enforcement, having spent the last 18 with the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD). As a committed partner in encouraging and supporting the mental health and wellness needs of their community, the SPPD sought an innovative approach to address the increased number of service calls for persons experiencing a mental health crisis. In 2017, Sgt. Sipes was selected to research, develop and implement a specialized unit to conduct proactive and reactive services citywide, connecting citizens in need with available community services. The Mental Health Unit at SPPD formally launched in early 2018 and has quickly become a model program for this new hybrid approach to mental health crisis calls. The unit has grown to four officers and two social workers. Statistics only show part of his success; the salaries of the social workers are paid for by community partners.
In addition to his responsibilities as the Mental Health Unit Coordinator, Sgt. Sipes is also a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team and co-lead instructor of the SPPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program. He has also designed an enhanced CIT program to advance officers’ knowledge and understanding of mental health, wellness and illness.
This course is not eligible for certificate discounts.