OPD considers expanding mental health response team after success

A 911 call can bring a police officer, firefighter or an EMT to help. In Orlando, the call can also bring out a trained mental health professional. Lovetta Quinn-Henry is the captain of the Community Relations Division at the Orlando Police Department.” “They go in lieu of police officers. And that’s what’s unique about the program. Those professionals are actually answering the calls when our residents call in and either themselves or their loved ones are experiencing a crisis,” Quinn-Henry said.OPD’s Community Response Team program just completed its first year.”So it’s kind of a check-in to see, ‘How we were doing?’ And the pilot has really been above expectations,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.”We only found two cases of the 900 or so individuals who received assistance where the community response team members call for law enforcement to respond. It wasn’t because the harm was intended towards the team. It was because they needed law enforcement there to assist the person that they were caring for,” Orlando Police Department Chief Orlando Rolon said. Monday, Orlando police gave the city council a full rundown of the program and asked if there’s room in the budget to double its size.OPD said they want more response teams and a mental health professional based at the 911 call center.”We definitely want our residents to know that if they are experiencing some sort of mental or behavioral crisis or have a loved one when they’re calling 911. They’re welcome to ask for the Community Response Team,” Quinn-Henry said. Right now, two teams respond. Each team is made up of just two people, a case manager year d a clinician with a big impact.”It’s almost like adding a couple of additional police officers to the streets because they’re not tied up with other things,” Dyer said. “What I can tell you is we will extend it, and we hope to increase it,” Dyer said.The Orlando Police Department said adding Community Response Team team members could save more than 300 hours of officer time each month.”Our teams are also very highly trained us the calls are screened. And we do our best to try to prepare them to be able to identify when a situation has reached a level that is beyond their control, and law enforcement officers are more fitting,” Rolon said. Dyer told us the program costs about $450,000 last year.

A 911 call can bring a police officer, firefighter or an EMT to help.

In Orlando, the call can also bring out a trained mental health professional.

Lovetta Quinn-Henry is the captain of the Community Relations Division at the Orlando Police Department.

“They go in lieu of police officers. And that’s what’s unique about the program. Those professionals are actually answering the calls when our residents call in and either themselves or their loved ones are experiencing a crisis,” Quinn-Henry said.

OPD’s Community Response Team program just completed its first year.

“So it’s kind of a check-in to see, ‘How we were doing?’ And the pilot has really been above expectations,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

“We only found two cases of the 900 or so individuals who received assistance where the community response team members call for law enforcement to respond. It wasn’t because the harm was intended towards the team. It was because they needed law enforcement there to assist the person that they were caring for,” Orlando Police Department Chief Orlando Rolon said.

Monday, Orlando police gave the city council a full rundown of the program and asked if there’s room in the budget to double its size.

OPD said they want more response teams and a mental health professional based at the 911 call center.

“We definitely want our residents to know that if they are experiencing some sort of mental or behavioral crisis or have a loved one when they’re calling 911. They’re welcome to ask for the Community Response Team,” Quinn-Henry said.

Right now, two teams respond.

Each team is made up of just two people, a case manager and a clinician with a big impact.

“It’s almost like adding a couple of additional police officers to the streets because they’re not tied up with other things,” Dyer said.

Will Orlando add more clinicians to their police force?

“What I can tell you is we will extend it, and we hope to increase it,” Dyer said.

The Orlando Police Department said adding Community Response Team team members could save more than 300 hours of officer time each month.

“Our teams are also very highly trained us the calls are screened. And we do our best to try to prepare them to be able to identify when a situation has reached a level that is beyond their control, and law enforcement officers are more fitting, “Rolon said.

Dyer told us the program costs about $450,000 last year.

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