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Monday, November 2, 2020

Mental Health Considerations in Police Work

We received a very informative description about mental health issues in police work.  This is reprinted with permission from an email of Sunnyvale's Public Safety Chief, Phan Ngo.

Link to this post for sharing:

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Please see below regarding thoughts of DPS partnering with mental health. 

Current Sunnyvale DPS procedures


DPS responds to mental health calls for service with a minimum of two officers to ensure the scene is safe. Based on the details of the call additional resources such as more patrol-based personnel, fire and ems responders, paramedics, the Mobile Crisis Response Team, and a number of NGO resources such as Uplift (Eastfield Ming Quong) and Emergency Psychiatric Services at VMC can be accessed. All of these services rely on DPS to provide the scene safety needs and evaluation of the caller’s mental health status for every call. On all responses DPS personnel provide referrals, problem solving capabilities as well as enforcement appropriate laws.


Santa Clara County


Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services operates a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Monday – Friday from 0800 – 2000 hours. This team conducts phone call screenings and may arrange a response within the county. A prime example of their work is the MCRT’s response to assist DPS on a recent 14-hour barricade that was resolved peacefully. Although our request for MCRT was made after their regular work hours, the clinicians responded and assisted DPS in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the suspect - who had significant mental health issues.  


Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association


           It’s been a longstanding practice to have a police chief in Santa Clara County represent the County Police Chiefs’ Association as a member on the Santa Clara County Mental Health/Behavioral Services Committee. It is through this process that the police chiefs and the County collaborate on operational and policy issues.



DPS is aware of the national discussion regarding police response to mental health calls. We continue to work with our County and NGO partners to evaluate how we handle these calls to best serve our communities. Thank you.





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