Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $150,000)
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) is the largest and one of the oldest mental health policing programs in the nation and is highly regarded by law enforcement and by mental health and civil rights advocates. It has implemented several programs in response to law enforcement services involving mental health in the City of Los Angeles. Recognizing the importance of training first responders on how to appropriately respond to cases with mental illness, the LAPD, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) piloted a Crisis Intervention Training in 2002. Since then, the training has developed into a four-day, 40-hour Mental Health Intervention Training (MHIT) conducted by both MEU officers and LACDMH clinicians and certified by the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST).
With the increasing number of calls involving people with mental illness or in crisis, investigators are encountering suspects/victims/witnesses during follow-up investigations who may be living with a mental illness, a developmental disability (i.e. autism), or suffering a mental health crisis. It is important to identify the behaviors, which may change how the investigator manages the case and provide an opportunity for a long-term effective solution. However, there is currently no mental health case management course offered for investigators.
With the FY 2021 Comprehensive Crisis Response Training Program, the LAPD, in partnership with the LACDMH, is proposing to develop and deliver the MHIT for Investigators Training Program, an in-person and online transdisciplinary crisis response training geared for investigators. The program aims to train 240 investigators in California on mental health and case management strategies involving persons who may have a mental illness, or who have a developmental/intellectual disability. The course will incorporate best practices from the Memphis Model Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) training, Disability Response, Co-Responder, Case Management, and other response models. This proposed course will also be made available on the LAPD University mobile application as an interactive online course.