Leaving Behind Uniforms And Sirens, Summit County Sheriff Expands Crisis Response

The Summit County, Colorado, sheriff's office runs SMART (Systemwide Mental Assessment Response), which pairs armed deputies with clinicians to respond to mental health crises. In 2020, the two teams took hundreds of calls but made only one arrest. Instead, most people are helped on the spot or referred to services that can help. The county plans to expand the service to 24/7 with two more teams, plus one mobile crisis until to handle suicide threats, staffed only by civilian mental health professionals. This report discusses the range of models used nationwide with and without police involvement.

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