A program to deploy psychological well being clinicians on emergency calls associated to psychological misery acquired approval from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, advancing a monthslong effort to reimagine native policing.
“It’s not the tip all be all. It’s a rising and adaptive program,” mentioned Supervisor Don Horsley, a former county sheriff who championed this system.
The 2-year pilot program will embed a full-time licensed psychological well being clinician throughout the San Mateo, Daly Metropolis, South San Francisco and Redwood Metropolis police departments — one clinician will probably be assigned to every metropolis — to reply together with cops to psychological well being emergencies.
One yr of this system will cumulatively value a most of $876,776 and roughly $1.5 million, based on a San Mateo Police Division press launch. Whereas the county will cowl 53% of this system, offset with Measure Ok funds, the cities will fund the remaining 43%.
Clinicians, as county staff by means of the Behavioral Well being and Restoration Companies, may have entry to data that may higher advise the clinicians when figuring out remedy however will work 40 hour weeks based mostly on every metropolis’s wants.
Dr. Scott Gilman, BHRS director, famous that clinicians may also journey independently, permitting officers to answer different calls when the preliminary scene has been secured. Long run, officers purpose to develop a nonlaw enforcement response which might dispatch clinicians to scenes when thought of protected to take action however till then officers will arrive on the scene first.
“The dispatchers play a key position right here,” mentioned Gilman, including that dispatchers will obtain the identical coaching officers and clinicians obtain.
Modeled after packages in different jurisdictions, Supervisor Warren Slocum mentioned he feels the county’s mannequin is superior to others together with the Cahoots program developed in Eugene, Oregon, over 30 years in the past, saying “we’ll see with the check of time.”
Gilman famous that demand for regulation enforcement departments to answer calls referring to psychological well being problems has elevated throughout the county. And at present, 50% of these in county jail expertise some type of psychological sickness.
Calling the determine staggering, Supervisor Dave Pine shared his enthusiasm for this system and its potential to avoid wasting departments cash by decreasing the time officers spend deployed on calls. Equally, supervisors Slocum and Carol Groom shared excessive reward for the pilot with Slocum noting, “it is a very long time coming.”
Ongoing opinions will probably be carried out on this system, mentioned Gilman, guaranteeing neighborhood stakeholders just like the African American Well being Fairness Initiative, the Psychological Well being and Substance Abuse Restoration Fee and the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness weigh in and construct paths for additional dialogue. Clinicians and officers may also meet often to debate methods to raised interactions.
Horsley, reflecting on his time as county sheriff, mentioned the psychological well being disaster he noticed then has grow to be extra prevalent right now, significantly now as communities grapple with COVID-19. Sharing appreciation for county and division workers who developed the “ahead transferring program,” he famous the rising civil unrest associated to policing that led to the change.
“They’re actually responding to not solely fairness but additionally the decision to the instances when it comes to the Black Lives Matter [movement].”
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106