Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson? –
Oct. 24, 2020 – A sheriff’s office in Nevada County, California, is launching a program to partner deputies responding to certain types of non-criminal 911 calls with a licensed therapist. The pilot program, which comes as police departments across the country are facing increased scrutiny, aims to reduce the risk of deadly confrontations with people who are in distress.
Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon, who said she plans to launch the new Mobile Crisis Team by the end of the year, told CBSN that the program is designed to give someone experiencing a mental health crisis “the best service they can receive.”
Moon said that deputies responding to mental health 911 calls generally transport people to the local emergency room to speak with a therapist. Now, dispatchers will assign calls related to mental health, substance abuse, or homelessness to a deputy and a mental health professional who are paired up in a patrol car, according to the county’s description of the program.
“I said, ‘let’s cut down that time, let’s bring that therapist out into the field and have that connection where that person is in crisis, to try to alleviate some of the issues with having a law enforcement response,’” she said.