SCPD Presents at 2017 Forensic Mental Health Conference
Santa Cruz Police Department was one of two of law enforcement agencies to present this week at the conference in Monterey CA. The presentation topic was titled "Mental Health Liaisons: A Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health."
This morning, March 23rd, SCPD Deputy Chief Rick Martinez with Mental Health Liaison Danielle Long (ASW) and Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Program Chief Pam Rogers-Wyman (MFT) lead a presentation at the 2017 Forensic Mental Health Conference.
SCPD's specialized collaboration with Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Program created the Maintaining Ongoing Stability through Treatment Team (MOST) program. SCPD was the first law enforcement agency in the county to implement the pilot program in October 2014. The SCPD MOST liaison assists SCPD officers with calls involving potential mental health issues and provides mental health intervention and assessment services.
“We streamlined processes working directly with Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services to improve public safety. We do this by working together to identify problems and then implementing solutions that produce meaningful results,” SCPD Deputy Chief Rick Martinez said.
MOST brings together Probation, Behavioral Health, courts and law enforcement staff to improve mental health counseling, employment, and other services to clients, including those in the criminal justice system.
"The MOST program has proven to be a success for both agencies. Since the inception, our MOST liaison has made thousands of contacts and referrals, and hundreds of mental health assessments while out in the field with SCPD officers. The investment supports our vulnerable population and makes for a safer community”, said Deputy Chief Martinez.
SCPD sees great value in the partnership with Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Program and the expansion of the Maintaining Ongoing Stability through Treatment Team program. Deputy Chief Martinez announced the position would eventually expand to include a second half-time liaison working weekends. “It increases our outreach when it comes to mental health and addiction,” SCPD Deputy Chief Rick Martinez said. “It ensures we have that referral system out in the field seven days a week.”
SCPD is dedicated to innovative community-oriented policing which requires flexibility to respond to all emerging issues with proactive problem-solving approaches that involve our community partners.