The Saint. Paul Police Department (SPPD) just created a brand new unit to connect people in crisis with the care they need, helping to significantly reduce mental-health-crisis-related arrests and repeat calls for service.
With a concentration on community outreach, the unit seeks to be part of the conversation before tragedy occurs—and possibly prevent or disrupt the behaviors.
So who is the unit?
Officer Lori Goulet, 21 years seasoned with the SPPD:
“There is a gap between police officers and people in mental health community services. In my role I hope to bridge that gap, and provide better communication and services for people with mental illnesses in regards to policing.”
Officer Justin Tiffany, an eight-year guardian with the SPPD:
“From my experience many people in crisis are looking for that first thread to help pull them out of crisis. I see this position as an opportunity to assist them in that capacity as well as being a bridge between the police department and mental health services.”
Officer Marshall Titus, six years practiced with the SPPD:
“Patrol officers experience a lot of people in crisis every year. Often, the quick fix is to bring people to the hospital. We want to do more than that. We want to get to people before they are in crisis and make sure community members are receiving all the support that they need. That’s what this unit is all about.”
Sergeant Jamie Sipes, a 23 year veteran of law enforcement has served for the last 18-years with the SPPD:
“I am excited to be a part of this program. This is a great example of how our department responds to the changing needs and expectations of our community to ensure quality customer service to everyone.”
While this is a city-wide assignment, each Mental Health Officer will be responsive to an individual District.
This is a great forward thinking approach to a community health issue. Thank you SPPD for stepping up to help your community.