On January 21, in the opening session of the 2021 Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President & Chief External Engagement Officer for the Target Corporation, announced the creation of a two-year, $700,000 Police Reform and Racial Justice Grant Program, a national partnership between the Conference of Mayors and Target aimed at identifying, supporting and promoting police policies and practices in cities shown to be most effective in advancing the goal of justice for all residents. In the first year of the program, 36 cities submitted proposals for grant funding; a panel of judges composed of former mayors, a top police executive and a social justice expert selected a single grant winner in each of three city population categories: large, mid-size and small.
On January 20, in the Conference’s 2022 Winter Meeting in Washington, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Chair of the Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities, recognized the winners of the first round of grant awards – Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, and Salisbury, MD Mayor Jacob Day – and announced the launch of the second round of the program and the second opportunity for a large, mid-size and small city to share in grants totaling $350,000. (Target is also a partner with the Conference in the Center.) Mayor Nirenberg called the mayors’ attention to the Center’s webpage on the Conference’s website where summary descriptions of all police reform initiatives proposed by cities for grant awards are posted, the purpose being to provide all mayors with information on what their colleagues across the country have determined to be effective reforms that merit consideration. Summaries of the grant applications received for the second-round awards also will be posted on this webpage, he explained, with the winners of these grants announced in June during the Conference’s 2022 Annual Meeting in Reno.
2021 Grant Award Winners
Large City: One Dallas: R.E.A.L. Change
An immediate response to the national and local civil unrest during the summer of 2020, One Dallas: R.E.A.L. Change aims for policing that is Responsible, Equitable, Accountable, and Legitimate. The Police Department has expanded partnerships with faith-based leaders, community activists, education stakeholders, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations to make progress in these areas. While this is a citywide initiative, data-driven policy and research identify specific communities that can benefit the most from its efforts. Leading on racial justice, the City has strengthened its use-of-force orders, enacted a new “duty to intervene” order, and implemented active bystander and implicit bias trainings. A new Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions addresses systemic factors that contribute to criminal activity by providing non-law-enforcement responses.
The judges appreciated that this program is built on the six pillars of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and advances the comprehensive approach recommended in the U.S. Conference of Mayors detailed plan for police reform and racial justice to deal with criminal activity, assist people in distress, and avoid excessive use of force. The grant award will be used to expand the RIGHT Care program, which currently provides a multidisciplinary team capable of immediate mobilization and response 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Detailed information on the Dallas initiative is available from Dina Colarossi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-671-9062.
Mid-Size City: Albuquerque Community Safety Department
Created in the summer of 2020, the new department represents a third branch of the City’s first responder system – Police, Fire, and Community Safety. It is a cabinet-level department that follows a public health model with civilian-led response. It gives 911 dispatch the option to have trained professionals respond to non-violent calls involving inebriation, homelessness, addiction, and behavioral and mental health problems. It is mainly directed at groups that are traditionally under-represented and over-policed, including low-income, minority, homeless, and immigrant and refugee communities. The past year has focused on research, analysis, and community engagement to inform a comprehensive strategic plan in support of the full launch of the new department.
The judges appreciated that making community safety a cabinet-level function signals that safety is a city-wide responsibility. It is a departure from the traditional Police-Fire-EMS model, designed to get the whole of city government involved in responses to issues, with specific roles to be played in responding to problems as varied as public intoxication, homelessness, addiction, and mental health crises. Mayors know that as a cabinet-level function, Community Safety will have the executive authority, budget resources, and leadership to be an effective peer and partner with Police and Fire. Grant funds will be used to build a partnership with community members through a public education campaign that includes community trainings and events. Details are available from Mariela Ruiz-Angel at email@example.com or 505-451-9548.
Small City: Salisbury Police Mental Health Collaborative Partnership
The Salisbury MD Police Department will use the grant award to train police officers on the “duty to intervene” by preparing them to successfully intervene, prevent misconduct, avoid police mistakes, and create a department ethos that supports peer intervention. Officers also will be trained in how to effectively and safely de-escalate situations involving behavioral and mental health crises. The focus includes both calming techniques and strategies for use in aiding persons in crisis, and assistance to police officers in better managing the personal stress associated with these types of calls for service.
The judges recognized that training officers on gold-standard practices such as peer intervention, duty to intervene, and de-escalation is essential. Understanding that smaller cities often do not have the resources to provide ongoing training to officers, they saw the grant award as the means to help build Salisbury’s capacity to institute best-in-class training. Here again, in selecting Salisbury for the award, they cite the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, noting that it highlighted training as one of the essential pillars of creating a guardian, community-oriented police department culture. More information on Salisbury’s Partnership is available from Chief of Police Barbara Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-548-3165.
Other City Models
For each of the three population categories, summary descriptions of programs and initiatives submitted for grant consideration by the balance of the 36 cities follow in this section. For each city, a contact person who can provide detailed information is included.
Cities With Populations Over 250,000
ATL311 Community Referral Services
The City of Atlanta, in partnership with the Atlanta-based Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative (PAD), has undertaken an innovative expansion of the City’s 311 non-emergency services line to address concerns related to substance use, mental health, and extreme poverty. The City also partners with PAD to offer the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program through which pre-arrest referrals are accepted directly from police officers. Overall objectives are to address community concerns related to substance use, mental health and extreme poverty; reduce arrest and incarceration of people experiencing these issues; and increase the accessibility of supportive services in the city. For more information on Atlanta’s program contact Benjamin Cajarty at bccajarty@AtlantaGa.Gov or 470-235-0982.
Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program – Chicago Model (NADP)
The NADP seeks to address a problem that disproportionately affects certain neighborhoods and fuels violence throughout the city. It is a cross sector partnership designed to divert eligible individuals arrested for opioid and cocaine possession from jail to a service provider and substance use disorder counselors. If the Chicago Police Department, the service provider, and the arrestee agree that counseling is an appropriate alternative to detention, the arrestee will be released without charge to the substance use disorder counselor. The NADP also has a pathway for participants to self-refer to treatment. CPD plans to increase the scale of this initiative from the original nine police districts and include the remaining 13 for city-wide coverage by 2022. For more information on Chicago’s program contact Alyssa Broxton at email@example.com or 312-744-8951.
Columbus Police Cadet Program
The Police Cadet program hopes to foster hires of police officers from the community that will better reflect the diversity of the city. Specifically, recruitment is targeted to inner-city high schools and especially to minorities between the ages of 18 to 21. Goals are to increase diversity that will 1) replenish the ranks of the police department at a time when it is becoming ever more difficult to attract candidates into law enforcement; 2) build greater community trust and legitimacy; and 3) save lives. In Columbus, cadets receive compensation and college credit while attending the program. The annual cost of uniforms, books, and supplies is approximately $8,437 per cadet. For more information on Columbus’s Cadet program contact George Speaks, Deputy Director, Department of Public Safety, at GESpeaks@columbus.gov or 614-645-4200.
Offender Reintegration Collaboration Pilot Program
The goal of this program is to facilitate collaboration among law enforcement, courts, corrections, community corrections, and community groups focused on post-release reintegration of those currently incarcerated but returning to the community. This will be accomplished through the development of alternatives to jail, incarceration-located diversion programs, and post-release assistance to break the cycle of incarceration that tends to target marginalized communities. This program will also focus on breaking down the implicit bias that exists in both directions of the police-offender relationship through non-enforcement contact. It will build upon a successful non-profit organization, Redemption Road CrossFit (RRCF), founded in 2017 and operated by Denver Police Sergeant Aaron Brill. Currently operating in five Colorado prisons, the program combines mentorship, leadership, and accountability, with fitness as the entry point, bringing community members out to interact with the participants in a CrossFit workout. The RRCF program currently requires approximately 20-30 hours per week of outreach and administrative work on the part of the DPD sergeant, this on his own time. Expansion of this program requires outreach into the courts, community corrections, and the private sector to build and maintain stakeholder relationships. For more information on Denver’s program contact Matthew Lunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-913-6407.
Detroit Co-Response Partnership
Launched in the late fall of 2020, Detroit’s co-response team is being piloted in three Detroit Police Department Precincts with the goal of expanding citywide. The 911 co-response team responds to calls that occur in the Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park, and to any other call that is transferred into the 911 call center while the mental health specialists are working. The Detroit Homeless Outreach Team has begun its work in the downtown area due to the identified need there, with the goal of expanding to additional locations. DPD initiated the Partnership with the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) and the City’s Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD). It integrates successful evidence-based programs already underway in various major cities into one coherent intervention. The Partnership embeds a behavioral health specialist in various intervention points for individuals experiencing mental health crises, including at the 911 call center (Integrated Response), in a scout car (co-response team), and preemptively before an emergency occurs within the homelessness community (Detroit Homeless Outreach Team). For each prong of the co-response partnership, DWIHN will provide staff Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), ensuring that behavioral health specialists, homeless advocates, 911 call-takers, and co-responding DPD officers have received this critical 40-hour training. For more information on Detroit’s program contact Reid Branch-Wilson at email@example.com or 313-316-7391.
911 Calls-for-Service: Using a Data-Based Approach to Explore Alternatives to Law Enforcement
In August 2020, the City invited RTI International, a non-profit research institute, and six other cities in North and South Carolina to 1) establish a data-driven understanding of the nature of the Police Department’s workload/service portfolio, 2) utilize research-informed assessments to determine whether more effective alternative responses exist, and 3) implement pilot interventions to test the efficacy of any identified alternatives. Durham is currently selecting alternative response pilots for implementation. City staff have identified two preliminary areas of focus: maximizing police department capacity by right-sizing non-emergency in-person responses, and professionalizing short-term and long-term responses to mental health, behavioral health, and familiar faces. The effort has secured philanthropic support, awarded directly to RTI International. For more information on Durham’s initiative contact Monica Chaparro, Assistant Budget Director, Strategy and Performance, through firstname.lastname@example.org at 948-287-0850.
Threat Mitigation (TM) Pilot Program
The TM Pilot Program’s objective is to identify individuals with behavioral health problems and a propensity for violence. Prior to the commission of a violent act, proactive strategies are used to help stabilize these individuals; these are achieved through partnerships and collaboration with The Harris Center (local mental health authority), community resources, caretakers, stakeholders, outside law enforcement agencies, and the Mental Health and Veteran’s Court System. The Houston Police Department’s Mental Health Division (MHD) General Case Management (GCM) unit is responsible for reading and managing 1,800 mental health reports monthly, directing cases to other MHD units, returning seized firearms, and entering data into a database for division analysis. GCM is assigned nonviolent cases that indicate an individual or a caretaker needs assistance with improving living conditions, facilitating health care needs, speaking with a licensed counselor, or other help with improving quality of life. For more information on Houston’s program contact Shawn Cephus at email@example.com or 713-308-1714.
Irvine Police Department (IPD) Mental Health Program
IPD’s Mental Health Outreach Unit was created in 2012 to build a bridge between police response and the many resources available to the mentally ill and individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the city. The goal of the program is to provide clients with the support and resources needed to control their mental illness, therefore preventing the client from ever reaching a state of crisis. Patrol officers who respond to a call for service involving a mentally ill individual will document their contact in a report assigned to one of the Mental Health Officers (MHOs), sworn police officers with specialized training in mental illness and local resources. The program utilizes a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), who is a city employee, for contact with most clients. The MHO Unit includes the IPD’s Homeless Liaison Officer. The Unit made approximately 1,000 contacts with members of the community having mental health issues or experiencing homelessness in 2020. For more information on Irvine’s program contact Commander Noelle Smiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-724-7025.
Skills Building Workshops
The City envisions de-escalation and conflict and trauma prevention training for its police officers, to be provided by Dedication to Community (D2C), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. As described by the organization, the goal of the training provided would be systemic cultural reform aimed at social equity, D2C’s justice initiative would provide “proven, field-tested methods for developing practical skills to prevent avoidable conflict and trauma, while also de-escalating potentially volatile situations.” D2C would fully implement this training in all segments of the communities throughout this market; A budget narrative includes eight-hour training sessions for governmental agency employees at $600 per employee, or $780,000 for Nashville’s 1,300 sworn law enforcement officers. Additional information is available from Aaron Jones at email@example.com or 347-840-0608.
Ethical Policing is Courageous (EPIC)
Initially developed in 2016, the New Orleans Police Department’s EPIC program teaches law enforcement officers evidence-based tactics and strategies to intervene in another officer’s conduct to prevent harm to community members and officers themselves. The program focuses on interventions in three contexts – preventing officer misconduct, reducing officer mistakes, and promoting officer health and wellness – and each ties directly into efforts to transform the culture of policing and promote racial justice for all. Following the killing of George Floyd, NOPD worked with Georgetown University Law Center and global law firm Sheppard Mullin to bring EPIC to a national audience. In June 2020, Georgetown announced the launch of its Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, the national version of NOPD’s EPIC program. EPIC is heavily based in the science of active bystandership and peer intervention with built-in procedural incentives for every member of the Department. All members of the Department were trained in EPIC by the end of 2016. NOPD is currently in the process of transitioning all recruit training to the updated ABLE curriculum. Since the NOPD’s implementation of EPIC in 2016, the New Orleans community has seen improvement in most every relevant metric. For more information on New Orleans’s program contact Otha Sandifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-658-5083.
New York City
NYPD & Peace Institute
The New York Peace Institute has been training Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), experts in their sector or geographical area who are tasked with identifying and addressing crime trends and quality of life conditions in their area and who work in collaboration with various departments, city agencies and the community. By expanding this training to Police Department leadership, the Peace Institute would provide uniformed executives in the rank of Captain and above the same skills and insights as the NCOs they supervise. They would also receive training on restorative and procedural justice, which can be used by officers to help resolve disputes among community members without resorting to enforcement action. Increasing leadership’s knowledge of restorative justice practices may help shift the Department’s culture toward centering the voices of impacted community members, and increased emphasis on mediation and conflict resolution. For more information on New York City’s training program contact Louann Morris at email@example.com or 646-610-6501.
Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery
Established in June 2020 with the reallocation of five percent of the Newark Police Department budget, the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery builds on a number of violence interruption initiatives previously launched by the Mayor’s Office. The Office is currently planning to enroll 25 of the city’s repeat offenders who are driving a disproportionate amount of violent crime in a structured program of wraparound supports that focus on physical and mental healing. The goal is to have an outsized impact on neighborhoods that are still experiencing a disproportionate share of the city’s crime. The initiative would provide significant wraparound supports, with spending directed to: Emergency Funds for individuals who may need re-location services or funds for basic needs; High-Dosage Counseling for individuals needing assigned case workers and regular counseling; Stipends to support continued program participation; a Life Skills Retreat in a camp setting; Skilled facilitators to manage sessions on the retreat and in the city; and Addiction Treatment Support for participants needing a more intense level of treatment. For more information on Newark’s Office contact Kevin Callaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-232-1604.
Community Engagement Office (CEO)
Formally established in September 2019, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police CEO works to “enhance the relationship between citizens and law enforcement through addressing community needs, building strong relationships based on trust, and collaborating with neighbors to focus on improved public safety.” It implements community policing efforts across four pillars: Outreach Efforts, Incident Response, Education, and Partnerships with Social Service Agencies. Examples of CEO initiatives include training for all new recruits and established officers to address implicit bias and improve cultural awareness; neighborhood walks with the goal of being present and available to Pittsburgh residents and business owners; and Youth Connections, in which plainclothes officers meet monthly with ninth-grade students at Pittsburgh Public Schools for mentoring and discussions of police issues and roles. The CEO includes officers working within geographical areas to serve their community members and Team Leaders who work to maintain and develop programs with specific focuses. For more information on Pittsburgh’s CEO contact Melanie Ondek at email@example.com or 412-255-4765.
Street Crisis Response Team (SCRT)
A collaborative program of the San Francisco Police, Fire and Public Health Departments, the SCRT is aimed at promoting racially equitable community planning and intervention processes for San Francisco public agencies mandated to respond to a range of urgent/emergency mental/behavioral health, medical and safety incidents, as an alternative to law enforcement intervention. The goal is to provide rapid, trauma-informed response to people experiencing crisis in public spaces in order to reduce law enforcement encounters and unnecessary emergency room use. SCRT units are made up of well-trained, trauma-informed and culturally-competent community paramedics, behavioral health clinicians and peer support workers, responsive to incidents related to non-violent mental/behavior health crisis incidents in public settings involving adults only. SCRT is distinct from other Fire Department-led emergency medical response teams, using a data-driven, multi-system, trauma-informed approach. The SCRT pilot was launched in 2020; currently, six SCRT units operate 24/7 throughout the city, each with an emergency services vehicle with the ability to transport patients. For more information on San Francisco’s program contact Shiloh Kaho at Shiloh.firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-734-8647.
Community Assistance & Life Liaison (CALL)
Created as a partnership between the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) and a community-based nonprofit, Gulf Coast JFCS, the program removes law enforcement from calls that involve problems relating to mental health, substance abuse, economic hardship, youth behavioral issues, homeless persons, and neighborhood disputes. Staffing includes 12 “Navigators,” first responders working in pairs; three Clinical Supervisors who provide supervision in the field, especially with Baker Act and Marchman Act assessments; and a Program Director. Gulf Coast implemented a 24/7 resource number to divert calls from emergency services. Since inception, CALL has served a notably diverse group of individuals varying in age, race/ethnicity, and geographic location within the City. The program pilot was launched in early February 2021 and ends September 30. For more information on St. Petersburg’s program contact Megan McGee at email@example.com or 727-892-5242.
Crisis Intervention and Response Team (CIRT)
CIRT developed from the Mayor’s Community Task Force on Policing in early 2020. The initiative brought together local leaders, activists, and subject-matter experts around needed improvements to the Tampa Police Department (TPD). Embedding mental health expertise with police during behavioral health callouts became the forefront of the initiative undertaken and multiple local mental health and substance abuse partners came together to pilot an effort that would reduce the number of arrests and increase diversion to wraparound services for those needing them. Through CIRT, mental health professionals and case managers are integrated in call responses to provide aid to individuals experiencing mental health and/or substance abuse problems. Their expertise and input on protocols and in identifying best practices is also valuable. Another major focus is the TPD’s philosophy of community-oriented policing, which permeates the organization. TPD is planning for a dedicated Community Policing Task Force that will assign seasoned officers throughout the city to cultivate and maintain relationships. TPD is also creating and updating standard operating procedures relating to the implementation of the CIRT. For more information on Tampa’s program contact Catherine Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-274-3325.
Partnerships in Policing (PIP)
The Tulsa Police Foundation is seeking funding for PIP, which exists to combat the lack of trust and communication between officers and Tulsans, and to unify relationships between law enforcement and community members, creating a safer environment for all. Grant funds would be used to expand use of Zencity + Elucd Civic Engagement Technology to analyze massive amounts of publicly available information (from social media to local news sites) to provide actionable insight to aid police officers and promote effective community policing. PIP seeks to develop partnerships with the local community to address underlying causes of crime. It also seeks to develop more and better relationships with the community to mend areas of distrust and unease with police officers. Its problem-solving process involves the collaborative work of the Tulsa Police Department’s Community Engagement Unit, Communications Unit, and Public Safety Analysis Unit. Each unit aligns with the goals of PIP to continue building communication between the TPD and citizens. For more information on Tulsa’s program contact Captain Shellie Siebert at email@example.com or 918-586-6321.
Cities With Populations in 100,000-250,000 Range
Community Liaison Program Targeting Vulnerable, Marginalized & Minority Populations
Established in 2007, the program actively dedicates resources, education, and intentional outreach to refugee/Immigrant, Hispanic, LGBTQ+ communities, and the NAACP and other networks with statewide and regional organizations. The proposed expansion plan includes a future-focused, agile planning process; future addition of liaisons and civilian positions; development of printed and video educational materials, personalized and translated for each target audience; participation in cultural outreach events; enhanced officer training; and community education, developed and delivered in partnership with key stakeholders. The goal is to elevate the nationally recognized program to the next level by expanding it to proactively respond to future growth – first, toward a goal of bettering the relationship between vulnerable populations in Boise and BPD members, and second, to share the program and its successes with other agencies who may not have the resources to develop a similar program from the ground up. For more information on Boise’s program contact Shari Davis, Police Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-570-6116.
Community Wellness and Crisis Response Team (CWCRT)
The Daly City Police Department is working in collaboration with Stanford University, San Mateo County, South San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, and the San Mateo County Behavior Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) to create a CWCRT, a two-year pilot program that will start with the hiring of one clinician for each of the four cities. Clinicians, full-time employees of the BHRS, will be available to respond citywide to assist on all calls for service where there is a mental health component. Daly City’s gap in service in this area is with the 911 call. The CWCRT will address this crucial gap by getting mental health professionals to in-progress emergencies as first-responders and, as a result, help lower the potential for unnecessary uses of force. For more information on Daly City’s program contact Lieutenant Ronald Mussman at email@example.com or 650-438-1252.
City of Dayton Police Reform Initiative
The City has completed a nine-month-long process involving nearly 100 citizens from Dayton and the wider community who divided up into work groups focused on five reform priorities. 1) Expanding Citizen Oversight – Increasing transparency around alleged police misconduct, including by hiring an independent accountability auditor and strengthening a weak Citizens’ Appeal Board. 2) Reducing Use of Force – Reviewing all recent use-of-force incidences to inform changes in use-of-force policies and to acquire body cams. 3) Ensuring Best-Practice Training – The Police Department adopted a de-escalation policy and is doing training around it and implicit bias. 4) Improving Workforce Diversity – Adopting goals around creating a more representative department (the force will match Montgomery County’s demographics in 10 years, the City’s in 15 years). 5) Deepening Community Engagement – Creating a new alternative responder to handle non-violent police calls. Next steps are to institutionalize the unprecedented citizen engagement that led to these changes. The work groups made over 100 recommendations, many of which already have been implemented. For more information on Dayton’s program contact Laura Zeck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-333-3653.
Police and Social Worker Co-Response Program
The Livonia Police Department, in partnership with Hegira Health Inc., will be launching a co-response program considered unique as it is designed to have clinicians embedded within the Police Department headquarters. The clinicians will be tasked with providing professional mental health response as well as follow-up services. Assigned within the Patrol Bureau, they will co-respond with officers to mental health calls where their expertise may be needed. The clinician will have the responsibility to educate the individual’s family as to the different resources available to them in order to maximize the individual’s potential for recovery. The program will mirror the Memphis Model of a Crisis Intervention Team and improve upon it by providing CIT training for every dispatcher and additional crisis training for a majority of the officers that respond to these crisis situations. For more information on Livonia’s program contact Sergeant Stacy Hayne at email@example.com or 734-466-2496.
Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation (H.O.P.E.) Team
The Pasadena Police Department created the H.O.P.E. Team in 2002 and entered into a partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to provide mental health/law enforcement teams to assist those in need of mental health and social services. The Team consists of three sworn officers who conduct regular street outreach and work to develop and enhance relationships with local homeless service providers. In 2017, the City’s Fire and Health Departments also created the Pasadena Outreach Response Team (P.O.R.T.) to provide field-based support and advocacy for people experiencing homelessness, chronic health conditions, and mental health and/or substance use disorders. When P.O.R.T. needs police emergency response during one of their contacts, H.O.P.E. can respond and provide assistance. Collaborative efforts with P.O.R.T. will facilitate referrals for services to other community organizations. For more information on Pasadena’s program contact Ingrid Villela at firstname.lastname@example.org or 626-744-4508.
Behavioral Health and Social Service Crisis Response Program (BHSSCRP)
This program is being developed within the Healthy Communities Office and in close coordination with the Providence Public Safety Department as part of the City’s evolution in delivering safety, and in response to calls from its historically underinvested communities. Utilizing a data-driven, resident-centered approach, the City has begun a multi-phase strategy that includes: assessment of need, evaluation of the current crisis response system, program planning and design, and implementation. Sustained support for overdose prevention and substance use disorder services is a priority need.
Providence does not have enough multi-lingual Peer Recovery Support Specialists (PRSS) that are trained and certified to offer support and assistance to those interested in recovery and the community-integration process. Clients receiving peer support services experience a decrease in criminal legal system involvement, decreased used of emergency services, and reduced substance use rates, among other outcomes. The City plans to advertise, recruit, and train a cohort of PRSSs in advance of the launch of the BHSSCRP in February 2022. For more information on Providence’s program contact Bret Jacob at email@example.com or 401-573-7519.
Reno Police Department Officer Recruiting and Cultural Competency Training
The Reno Police Department recruiting initiative is designed to reach out to the best qualified applicants, to provide interested applicants information on how to become police officers, and to reach a level of diversity for the police department that is representative of the community. Receiving grant funds to assist in funding recruiting efforts and cultural competency training will increase recruiting abilities and provide more cultural competency training opportunities which at times can be limited due to budget constraints and costs associated with training provided by outside consultants. For more information on Reno’s training program contact Christina Rodriguez at Rodriguezc@reno.gov or 775-334-3848.
Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Officer
The Police Department’s goal is to develop a city-specific Mobile Crisis Response Team. Currently, one officer is dedicated to a county effort in which an officer is paired with a psychiatric clinician to conduct follow-up with those suffering from mental health issues, especially where violence was involved. In 2020, Richmond Police Officers responded to over 1,500 calls of mental illness in an economically deprived city of 110,000 residents. The Richmond Police Officer in this program covers the western half of the entire county, leaving the City of Richmond as a part-time responsibility. Richmond would dedicate a full-time Police Officer along with a full-time Mental Health Clinical Specialist to work a 40-hour week and be available to respond to those in mental crisis during the established working hours. For more information on Richmond’s experience contact Louie Tirona, Assistant Chief of Police, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-621-1543.
Salt Lake City
Community Connection Team
The Salt Lake City Police Department created this mental health unit consisting of licensed clinical social workers and case managers in 2016 and implemented a co-responder model in January 2018. The co-responder teams are comprised of mental health professionals and specially trained police officers from the department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Community Connection Team members have become liaisons between front line police work and the community, connecting with community service providers and individuals or families that are experiencing homelessness and/or are in crisis. The CIT police officers have received training to assist in identifying characteristics of various mental disorders and to provide safer interventions. The co-responder model also pursues diversion from outcomes such as incarceration, when appropriate. Goals include enhancing focus on districts with higher immigrant and minority populations and expanding co-responder coverage to nights and weekends. For more information on Salt Lake City’s Team contact Jordan Smith at email@example.com or 801-799-3357.
Cities With Populations Under 100,000
Community Alternative Response Effort (CARE)
The objective of CARE is to prevent deaths among Flagstaff’s marginalized populations by providing unsheltered citizens at risk of exposure to inclement conditions transportation to medical facilities or housing resources. The proposed initiative will target approximately 65 chronically unsheltered homeless people, many of whom are Native American. The initiative will consist of a dedicated transport vehicle outfitted with a police radio and a driver. On cold and/or stormy nights between 9:00PM and 2:00AM the CARE unit will respond to calls-for-service from concerned citizens of Flagstaff as well as calls from first responders via the Flagstaff Police Department’s Communications Center requesting transport for unsheltered individuals in need of temporary housing or medical care. The CARE unit will assess the needs of the unsheltered individual and transport them to the appropriate service provider. When not responding to calls, the CARE unit will patrol the City, searching for unsheltered individuals to whom advocacy services will be offered. A grant award would formalize the program. For more information on Flagstaff’s plan contact Lieutenant Paul Lasiewicki at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-310-4703.
Gardena Policing Services Enhancement and Community Trust Initiative
Created in 2019, the initiative integrates singularly-focused best practice programs into a multiyear strategic department-wide initiative that also incorporates additional programs to ensure police accountability, enhance community trust, and ensure equal justice for all community members. The Initiative organizes a wide range of programs around five tenets: Promote Community Engagement; Enhance Police Service Delivery, Training and Police Evolvement; Ensure Organizational Accountability and Wellness; and Succession Planning. It aims to address gang-related assaults, murders, drug sales, drug addiction, juvenile truancy, mental health issues, deteriorating police trust, equal justice, and organizational accountability. Operating through Gardena’s district policing model, the Initiative aligns district problems and district lieutenants and allows the community direct access to police leaders who have direct accountability via monthly meetings. For more information on Gardena’s Initiative contact Captain Vicente Osorio at email@example.com or 310-217-6188.
My Brother’s Keeper Initiative: Race in Hermosa Beach – Stories from the Community
This multi-phased program would assist the City with meeting goals #2 and #3 of the Mayor’s My Brother’s Keeper Pledge. The first phase began in the winter of 2020 with meetings involving the Chief of Police, command staff, and members of the minority community who have been subjected to racism and bias. The second phase started with the convening of a task force that would proactively bring this issue to the forefront of people’s minds before a significant event took place. The third phase, currently being developed, will include the implementation of focus groups and analysis of the information that comes from the shared experiences. The fourth phase is to work with qualified consultants to bring out the information from the focus groups and create an opportunity for community dialogue based on people’s personal experiences. For more information on Hermosa Beach’s program contact Chief Paul LeBaron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-318-0300.
Mobile Crisis Team (MCT)
A collaboration of Coleman Professional Services and Lima’s Police Department, Fire Department, and Mayor’s Office, the MCT is comprised of professionals and peers trained in crisis intervention, de-escalation, and knowledge of local referral resources. Members act as co-responders along with police, providing a rapid, culturally competent, trauma-informed mobile response, and employing behavioral health interventions that are sensitive to the individuals in need. The MCT can also respond to situations that do not involve police, situations where the involved persons appear to have issues with substance misuse disorder, mental illness, or homelessness. By utilizing the combined expertise of the officers, mental health professionals, and peers, the team is able to respond more effectively and connect people with appropriate services. Lima’s co-responder initiative began in 2017 with a grant to support one mental health professional working 40 hours per week and has continued and grown with additional grant funding. For more information on Lima’s program contact Sharetta Smith at email@example.com or 419-998-5596.
Hate and Bias Response Team (HBRT)
Not In Our Town Novato, a member of the national Not in Our Town network, is pursuing the creation of a Hate and Bias Response Team to support victims and targeted communities while building relationships and trust, a communication system, and community capacity to prevent hate from turning into violence. The HBRT, which would be comprised of counselors and victim liaison teams, law enforcement liaisons, incident monitoring team representatives from organizations serving targeted communities, and civic, faith, and local volunteers, would mobilize community response and education campaigns in response to hate incidents. For more information or Novato’s program contact Captain Jim Correa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-899-7003.
Public Safety Advisory Board
The Board, created following the murder of George Floyd by the Tigard (OR) City Council, the Police Department and the community, is responsible for reviewing the City’s public safety practices, having inclusive community conversations about these practices, making recommendations to the City Council on these practices, and building relationships and shared understanding between community and police. Representing the community, six board members and two alternates representing historically underrepresented and highly impacted groups were selected through a community caucus process. The first board meeting was held in December 2020; in January 2021, in the aftermath of a Tigard police officer-involved shooting that resulted in a riot in the downtown business core and at City Hall, the Board, with a hired facilitator, created a space where the community could come together, discuss and understand the events that occurred. The Board’s work plan includes examination of the Police Department’s hiring, training, retention, use of force, and other policing practices through a racial equity lens. For more information on Tigard’s board contact Nicole Hendrix at email@example.com or 503-858-9716.
Feasibility and Potential Impact Study on the Use of Social Workers
The Town of West Hartford is interested in creating a new initiative that increases the collaboration between the West Hartford Police Department (WHPD) and the Leisure and Social Services Department (LLSD) by shifting some responsibilities between the two departments and producing effective interventions and positive outcomes with no impact on the current organizational structure. The Town is considering a move to have a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) available to respond to calls triaged by the West Hartford Emergency Response Center that have been handled solely by the WHPD. The LCSW may be utilized as a co-responder with a WHPD officer or may respond individually or virtually, depending on the situation. Potential beneficiaries include high-risk mentally ill, low-income residents, minorities at risk for abuse or neglect, and seniors experiencing illness or emergent dementia. For more information on West Hartford’s plan contact Captain Eric Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-570-8986.