Learning Lab: Co-Responder Crisis Response Model

Co-Responder Crisis Response Model: Crisis Assessment, Intervention, and Field Tactics
  • Sunday, May 19, 2019
  • 9:00 a.m. - Noon
  • Lt. Mario Molina, Anton Nigusse Bland, M.D., Chris Weaver, M.D., Elizabeth Prillinger

Law enforcement officers across the United States are frequently tasked with making difficult decisions very quickly. These decisions often have lasting impacts on members of the public, the officers and the communities they serve.

In the City and County of San Francisco, police officers have become the lead responders to incidents involving persons experiencing mental health crises. While traditional police training teaches officers to establish a command presence and a force continuum approach to gain compliance, situations involving a mental health crisis often require a fluid, dynamic approach that emphasizes communication and de-escalation techniques, along with time, distance and cover, for the safety of all individuals.

The San Francisco Police Department prioritizes the instruction of its officers in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and de-escalation techniques. Our CIT training recognizes that police response must include the highest regard for human life. As such, we have implemented an array of crisis intervention strategies that include academy training, patrol tactics and a working partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). CIT-trained officers work alongside SFDPH Crisis Specialists in the field to respond to high-priority subjects whose reported actions have initiated a law enforcement response. The goal is to employ medical expertise at the scene to help facilitate a safe, successful conclusion to the incident.

SFPD has also implemented a patrol-based CIT Liaison program at all ten district stations. This ensures that there are knowledgeable staff dedicated to notifying appropriate services and agencies- including SFDPH- regarding crisis subjects who require substantive engagement from trained personnel other than law enforcement. We believe our CIT program- a product of ongoing engagement with community members, mental health advocates, health service providers and police officers- offers a model for other localities that are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the public and their officers.

We encourage you to attend this learning lab session to increase your understanding of the field assessment process and crisis intervention procedures that help provide safe outcomes in potentially dangerous situations.

Co-Responder Crisis Response Model Learning Lab

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