Simply final 12 months, the division’s crisis-trained officers wrote experiences for about 390 such incidents. Some residents with a psychological sickness immediate so many 911 calls that Marshak and deputies can checklist them off by identify.
“This isn’t a brand new downside, though you’re listening to about it extra now,” Marshak stated. “It’s unhappy, however the Jefferson County Jail turns into the biggest de facto psychological well being facility when these folks have violent outbursts. We all know there’s a greater strategy to deal with this.”
Psychological well being professionals have gotten extra frequent with metropolitan police forces as the subject has moved into the nationwide dialog round police reform this 12 months, however a full-time psychological well being coordinator continues to be uncommon for sheriff’s places of work that are typically smaller and patrol exurban and rural areas.
A Nationwide Police Basis survey this 12 months of 458 companies with 10 to 75 sworn officers discovered that solely about 4% had a full-time psychological well being skilled on employees, though about 75% of companies had some entry to psychological well being specialists.
In Jefferson County, Flamion will likely be centered on getting assist to the individuals who immediate essentially the most psychological well being calls. She’s going to go on some 911 calls alongside deputies and can observe as much as try to join folks with psychological well being and different assist providers.
Flamion beforehand labored as a neighborhood psychological well being liaison for St. Louis County police and most just lately was supervisor for a 911 psychological well being co-responder program that launched in St. Louis in February. In that program, contractor Behavioral Well being paired psychological well being professionals with St. Louis cops to reply to some 911 calls.