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Measuring Performance

Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC) Toolkit

Measuring Police-Mental Health Collaboration Performance

It is important for PMHC programs to prepare for both performance measurement and program evaluation. Performance measurement and program evaluation are complementary endeavors that assess program activities and performance, and both are completely reliant on accurate data. Performance measurement and program evaluations produce information that demonstrates to government decision-makers that the program is meeting its goals, is used to request funding through annual budgets or grants, and helps garner the support of mental health providers and other community stakeholders. This section provides an overview of the types of data agencies should consider collecting to allow for performance measurement and program evaluations.

Performance Data for PMHC Programs

Reliable data are essential for demonstrating PMHC program activities and performance, ensuring that scarce resources are effectively managed, demonstrating to government decision-makers that the program is meeting its goals, requesting funding through annual budgets or grants, and garnering the support of mental health providers and other community stakeholders. Lacking the ability to collect data inhibits the ability of agencies to measure performance.

Each PMHC program should determine the specific goals and objectives that will guide the data collection process. Then, law enforcement and their partners can identify what information is needed to demonstrate whether progress towards these goals has been made and determine the best method to collect these data.

Many existing data sources—such as Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) data, incident reports, jail admissions, emergency medical services (EMS) logs, and emergency room records—can provide useful information.

Some of the frequently used performance measures for PMHC programs that rely upon data include:

  • Number of officers trained
  • Training effectiveness
  • Number of officers selected as PMHC specialists
  • Number and type of policies developed
  • Number and type of MOUs developed

  • The number of calls for service involving people with mental illnesses
  • Duration of calls for service
  • Percentage of calls that specially trained personnel handle
  • Repeat calls for the same people
  • Repeat locations for mental health calls
  • Frequency of disposition decisions
    • Officer resolved at scene and no formal action taken
    • Officer provided the person a referral to mental health resources
    • Officer transported the person for voluntary treatment
    • Officer detained the person for an involuntary examination
    • Officer arrested the person
  • The frequency of use of force during mental health calls
  • The number of injuries or fatalities to officers, consumers and third parties

 

For More Information:

FAQs

Measuring Performance

Focused Tools for Law Enforcement

Many communities struggle with the PMHC program design process. Communities are unsure how to design and develop a PMHC program that meets their distinct needs and challenges. One way to increase knowledge of PMHCs, is to review programs that other jurisdictions have developed and tailor those programs to your specific community needs.

Law Enforcement agencies interested in expanding their knowledge base, starting, or enhancing a PMHC, can contact The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) or BJA’s Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Provider. BJA supports these urban and rural police departments to act as host-sites to visiting law enforcement agencies and their mental health partners.

Located across the country, these learning sites represent a diverse cross-section of perspectives and program examples and are dedicated to helping other jurisdictions improve their responses to people with mental illnesses.

Opportunities

The ten learning sites host site visits from interested colleagues and other local and state government officials, answer questions from the field, and work with BJA’s TTA provider to develop materials for practitioners and their community partners.

TTA is provided to law enforcement agencies and their community partners in an effort to assist with the development or implementation of PMHC strategies. Supplemental funds can be made available to agencies that are interested in visiting the learning sites. This is a focused approach intended to provide your agency with access to outstanding peer resources for police-mental health collaboration programs.

To request TTA and receive confirmation within 36 hours of your request

For frequently asked questions about the Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Sites, access the TA FAQs.

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Law Enforcement Learning Sites

Support jurisdictions in exploring strategies to improve the outcomes of encounters between law enforcement and people who have mental illnesses.

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Contact PMHC

Please submit questions, policies and training materials that can benefit others for review and consideration.

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