Los Angeles: The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSGJC) with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has selected the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) as one of six “Specialized Policing Responses: Law Enforcement/Mental Health” national learning sites. LAPD’s MEU has been distinguished for its successful operational strategies and progressive training advancements in the field of law enforcement response to persons suffering from a mental illness. The LAPD was also selected for its effective partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH).
The arduous selection process examined all aspects of the MEU’s operation. The focal points of interest were MEU’s training curriculum pertaining to:
• Crisis Intervention Teams
• Targeted School Violence
• Crisis Communications
• Suicide by Cop
• Autism Awareness
• Introduction to Mental Illness for Detention Officers
• Introduction to Mental Illness for Dispatchers
• Barricade Suspect In-Custody Debriefings
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
• The Mentally Ill Prohibited Possessor Tracking System/Mental Health Court Liaison strategy
The System-wide Mental Assessment Response Teams and Case Assessment Management Program were also determined to be unique, progressive law enforcement/mental health response models.
As a learning site, the LAPD has demonstrated a commitment to the ten essential elements of a specialized policing response program as defined in the BJA publication entitled “Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses: The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement-Based Program. The Department has also maintained flexibility in the design of its programs to meet the needs of the diverse communities it serves. Consequently, for all law enforcement organizations, the LAPD will make available its MEU mental health training courses and response protocols, including those co-developed by the LACDMH, to enhance law enforcement awareness of persons suffering from mental illness and for operational replication in other communities.
Today, representatives from the LAPD and LACDMH will travel to Washington, D.C. to share the details of the MEU’s training curriculum and operational protocols with the CSGJC and other experts. Representing LAPD will be Mental Illness Project Coordinator Lieutenant II Lionel M. Garcia, who will accept the distinction and spearhead the LAPD’s presentation.
“The LAPD is honored to receive this recognition,” said Chief Charlie Beck. “We are extremely proud of our accomplishments in the field of police response to mental illness and of our relationship with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. And we’re confident that our partnership has had a positive and significant impact on our communities.”
For more information please contact LAPD’s Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.