Published by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), this report addresses one of the most critical issues in policing today: the role of police officers in responding to calls for service involving people in mental or behavioral health crisis. This has been a serious challenge for policing for decades, ever since mental health institutions were closed. People were discharged without adequate provision of help to live in the community and many of them landed on the streets. This report, which looks at examples from several jurisdictions and draws on survey feedback from almost 200 different agencies, is intended to help agencies and communities think through what kind of program might work best for them. It describes the basic types of crisis-response programs, explains how selected communities created and operate their programs, and outlines key issues to consider.
Read the full report.