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Law enforcement has remote access to mental health professionals

Officers seeking guidance on managing an encounter with a person who appears to be in mental health crisis may contact a designated mental health professional. These mental health professionals have access to a database where they are able to view information about the person’s mental health history.

Local Examples

Los Angeles County, CA Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) & Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

  • During mental health-related encounters, officers are required to contact the LAPD triage desk during a mental health-related encounter, which is staffed by an officer and a mental health nurse.
  • The designated mental health nurse can access the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health database to identify if the person has a case manager or psychiatrist, or if they have visited any treatment centers in the county.
  • The assigned triage officer records data about the encounter and consults the department’s database to determine if the person has any history of police contact.
  • The triage desk staff determine what information to share with the responding officer to support them in appropriately managing the encounter while abiding by established policies and privacy regulations.

For more information on this example, see: Los Angeles Police Department Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Site Profile.




1 - Reduce bookings into jail
3 - Increase connection to treatment

Last updated: May 21, 2020