EVERETT - Since July, Everett Police has partnered with Snohomish County Human Services on a pilot program to provide officers an additional resource when responding to calls involving someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The program utilizes on-call Designated Crisis Responders (DCRs) from Human Services who assist officers on calls associated with a behavioral health crisis. These responders are licensed designated mental health professionals who assist officers and, if needed, have the authority to detain someone for further evaluation.
Currently, DCRs are available by phone 24/7 when Everett officers encounter someone in mental health crisis or distress and they can immediately respond to an incident. In addition to their initial response, DCRs provide follow-ups, meet with those in need, provide service referrals, and involve supportive family to find long-term solutions. Since July, Everett Police have used the program 109 times.
“We appreciate partnering with Everett Police Department on another successful pilot. We are particularly pleased that this effort has resulted in people getting needed help while minimizing the number of law enforcement transports to the emergency room or jail,” said Cammy Hart-Anderson, Snohomish County Human Services’ Division Manager. “Our hope is to eventually have the staff and financial resources necessary to offer direct access to all law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County.”
“As our officers on the street respond to more and more calls involving community members in mental health crisis, it is critical that they have the necessary resources to adequately address the situation,” said Police Chief Dan Templeman. “The addition of this valuable resource has been extremely beneficial to not only our officers, but to our community and those in need of mental health treatment.”
The desire is to implement the program across Snohomish County as the coordination between DCRs and officers provides an alternative to hospital services.
Individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis and their families are encouraged to call the Care Crisis Line at 1-800-584-3578.
News Releases are located at: www.everettwa.gov/EPDNews.