National Training and Technical Assistance Initiative
Enhancing Law Enforcement Engagement With Individuals With Mental Health Conditions and/or Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
The IACP, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), promotes law enforcement and mental health collaboration in small, mid-sized, and large police departments across the United States. We provide customized training and technical assistance to law enforcement to enhance the responses to individuals in crisis, and people with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities. With this project, the IACP will grow and enhance cross-system responses between local law enforcement and mental and behavioral health service delivery partners. By fostering a strong alliance between law enforcement and mental health service partners, the IACP aims to improve the welfare of vulnerable individuals and improve public and officer safety.
Training and Technical Assistance Resources
E-Learning - Webinars, virtual presentations, online/electronic tools
Resource Development and Dissemination - Publications, toolkits, best practice guides
Peer-to-Peer Learning - Jurisdictions needing customized assistance or mentorship can request peer-to-peer connection with subject matter experts who can provide guidance on best practices and tailored solutions.
One Mind Campaign
This brand new One Mind Initiative includes the One Mind Campaign, which seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and people in crisis and/or with mental health issues or disorders. The One Mind Campaign focuses on uniting local communities, public safety organizations, and mental health organizations so that the three become "of one mind."
Bureau of Justice Assistance Police-Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit
The Police Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit provides resources for law enforcement agencies to partner with service providers, advocates, and individuals with with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities. The goal of these partnerships is to ensure the safety of all, to respond effectively, and to improve access to services and support for people with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities.
IACP Model Policies
Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Sites
The IACP and partner agencies strive to increase police-mental health collaboration. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with guidance from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), selected 10 police departments to act as national law enforcement/mental health learning sites. Located across the country, these learning sites represent a diverse cross-section of perspectives and program examples, and are dedicated to helping other jurisdictions improve their responses to people with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities.
This spotlight series highlights a positive step in the field of police-mental health collaboration. We will highlight individuals, agencies, departments, or organizations, resources, toolkits, conferences, etc. that are working to enhance police-mental health collaboration, providing resources for individuals in crisis, assisting persons with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities, and more!
Our featured spotlight is the Denver Police Department's Crisis Intervention Response Unit!
The Denver Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Response Unit started in 2016. This co-responder model allows officers to work side-by-side with licensed behavioral health clinicians when responding to calls that involve people experiencing known or suspected behavioral health concerns. Operating city-wide, in all six of Denver’s police districts, currently 12 hours a day, seven days a week (expanding to 24/7 coverage in 2021), the department’s goal is to treat people where they are, as they are, in an effort to introduce trauma-informed, harm reduction-based responses, strategies, and support.
Since its inception, the program has been one of the fastest growing in the department. Thanks to grant funding, the program was able to more than double in size in only two years. The program was able to expand its capacity, outreach, and interventions during this time. It was also able to increase its staff from the original four licensed clinical social workers to 32, to also include four clinical case managers.
Originally met with skepticism from officers, the unit has not only grown to be expected from the officers but appreciated. Many officers now hope to be one of the officers selected to pair with a social worker. The impact of the project and the reception from officers has been noticeable.
Co-responders made contact in 2018 with 1,725 individuals. Of those people, only three percent (3%) were arrested and two percent (2%) were issued a ticket. In the majority of instances where arrest or citation resulted, behavioral health issues were a secondary or tertiary part of the call for service. Additionally, about a quarter (25%) of those contacted by clinicians were connected to the Mental Health Center of Denver, where they were given ongoing health support and recovery-based services.
For any questions please reach out to Director Scott Snow at Scott.Snow@denvergov.org
If you would like to nominate a spotlight, please submit 1) The name of individual, organization, agency or resource 2) A brief summary of the work being done in this area 3) Your contact information 4) The nominee's contact information, if applicable
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 2019-NT-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.