Dispatch collaborates with mental health services
Dispatchers are trained to identify mental health-related calls and, if appropriate, transfer them to helpline crisis counselors who are stationed in the dispatch center. These crisis counselors then determine whether the situation can be resolved over the phone, rather than by a patrol unit.
Harris County, TX Houston Emergency Center (HEC)
- Helpline crisis counselors from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD are embedded in the HEC, Harris County's dispatch center.
- Calls involving people experiencing serious mental health crises with no criminal nexus are handled by these counselors rather than being addressed with a patrol unit.
- Dispatchers and call-takers receive 24 hours of crisis communications training.
For a sample related to this example, see this resource:
For more information on this example, see these resources:
- Houston Police Department ("Crisis Call Diversion Program")
- Houston Police Department Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Site Profile
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Last updated: April 21, 2019