MINNESOTA: Police Calls Involving Mental Health Have Doubled. St. Paul Now Devotes a Unit to Them

May 11, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Minnesota

Pioneer Press

The St. Paul Police Department has launched a new unit to help support people with mental health issues. The mental health unit aims to connect people in distress with services and diffuse crises before they escalate into violence. Staffed by four officers who respond to mental health-related calls, the unit also provides follow-up to individuals and families to ensure they have access to the resources they need. The new unit works with the county’s mobile crisis team on some calls, and is looking for more ways to partner with mental health professionals in the future. “This is new to law enforcement, and we’ve been thinking outside the box of what we can do to help people get connected with services, keep them in their homes, keep them stable and reduce those police calls for service, reduce those EMS runs to the hospital, and reduce those emergency department visits,” said unit coordinator Sergeant Jamie Sipes.

Spark Extra! Learn more about the mental health unit.