Contra Costa Officials Unveil Plan Making Mental Health Professionals First Responders

January 13, 2022 10:00 am · 60 comments

By Tony Hicks – Contra Costa County unveiled its new A3 (Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime) community crisis initiative Wednesday that will use mostly Measure X funds to bring mental health professionals into the field of county first responders.

County leaders and members of Contra Costa’s health services department gathered virtually to discuss A3’s rollout, its significance, and how the county hopes to become a model for other municipalities to prioritize getting the right responders in front of metal health emergencies.

The system will start with the Miles Hall Community Crisis Hub, a call center named after the young African-American man shot to death by Walnut Creek police in 2019 while having a mental health emergency in front of his family’s home.

Hall’s death strengthened local calls to have trained metal health experts available to deal with such situations, instead of untrained police.

“We realized that sending a police officer to respond to every crisis situation is not what is needed,” said county supervisor Candace Andersen, in whose district Hall’s family lived. “When we saw the tragedy that unfolded in Walnut Creek with the death of Miles Hall, in June of 2019, the board of supervisors requested that county health do more. Do it a little bit faster; this became an urgent priority.”

A3 is currently a pilot program that will expand into a fully staffed, 24-hour service over the next 18 months. Calls will be triaged by trained personnel and response teams will include behavioral health specialists, who will coordinate with other first responders.

The new system comes after two years of brainstorming between health officials, police and fire agencies, county supervisors and officials from various Contra Costa cities.

“In designing this initiative, we put the experience of those with ‘lived’ experience and those in need in our community at the forefront; that was really the driving force behind the design,” said Anna Roth, Contra Costa’s health services director.

“It’s not a program just to address crisis needs; it’s really aimed at transforming the entire mental health care system and emergency response.”

The program got a boost at the end of 2021, when supervisors directed $5 million of one-time Measure X funds its way, while dedicating the program another $20 million in ongoing funds.

Local Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, got $2 million in federal funding for the program. He spoke at Wednesday’s unveiling, saying the issue was personal for him as he approaches the 32nd anniversary of his father’s suicide.

“These are the kind of programs that will transform and save lives that, for generations unfortunately, have had to struggle to survive, along with their families, and their communities,” DeSaulnier said.

He said it’s been “wonderful watching this county show leadership.”

“It will be a national model – it is a national model, and I’m happy we’re contributing to it,” DeSaulnier said.

Chad Pierce, a county mental health programs manager, laid out how the program will function, as it becomes the “fourth arm” of emergency response, along with police, fire and paramedics.

“Sometimes they don’t have the skills, training and knowledge to appropriately address a mental health crisis that impacts so many in Contra Costa,” Pierce said. “So what happens is, instead of appropriate care, compassion and support, far too often people during a metal health episode are stigmatized and criminalized, preventing them from getting the help they need.”

Pierce said one in five U.S. adults have behavioral health issues, which are the third most common ambulance calls nationwide. Calls will go to either 911 or the hub, which will refer the call to one of three teams based on severity. Some will be managed through the phone, others will require dispatching a team to the scene for an assessment, which could involve traditional responders.

“While we want to lessen the need for law enforcement, we do recognize that sometimes that is an appropriate response,” Pierce said.

The team will also determine whether the patient needs to be transported to a health facility or another destination.

There’s a mobile response team already in service, and more call center personnel will be hired by spring. Response teams will start expanding this summer, as software and other technology gets added to the hub.

The system should be fully staffed and operating 24 hours a day by June 2023.

Currently, anyone experiencing a mental health emergency in Contra Costa can call 911 or contact the county team at (833) 433-2672 or (877) 441-1089 for those under 21. Communications will eventually be consolidated.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Darwin January 13, 2022 at 10:17 AM

He had a history of violent behavior:

1) Threatens his grandmother, breaks the back slider of the house
2) Threatens his mother
3) Does not follow police verbal commands
4) Attacks police with large metal pole.
5) District Attorney does not file charges against officer.

This is justifiable force.

Now woke Walnut Creek want to make him a victim???? His parents were paid millions. The parents should be thanking WCPD for coming to their aid.
It sounds like the mental health treatment he was getting needs to be Evaluated. Too many questions??

They have tried in other parts of the county to send in mental health first, but in most occasions they refuse because it’s to dangerous.

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Smh January 13, 2022 at 1:18 PM

I couldn’t agree more! What do people expect??? This is not going to end well…

Eric January 14, 2022 at 1:55 PM

1) He was having a mental health issue
2) The only way the family could make him take his medications was by getting him arrested (He was over 21)
3) The Police knew about him and had provided this service to the family before
4) His Police coordinator, who knew him, was on the way when he was shot
5) The Police there paniced, did not have the skills to deescalate the situation
6) The new emergency response team will have the required skills

Darwin January 14, 2022 at 4:45 PM

@Eric
1) He was threatening his mother and grandmother and broke the back slider. He has a documented history of violent behavior and terrorizing the neighborhood. He was not listening to his family, but the police coordinator could have calmed the situation???? In a perfect world.
2). No one can make him take his meds, not even if he is court ordered. No way to enforce it.
3) the police did not panic, watch the tape. They have an obligation to protect the community. He was running around with a steel pole and was threatening the community and officers.
4) the new emergency response team will be victims, unfortunately some people you just can’t reason with. Also they have tried this is other parts of the county (west county)and the MH team has refused to engage because it was to dangerous

Eric, the world is not perfect, not everyone gets a trophy or wins.

Eric January 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM

Hi Darwin
The world is not perfect, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for not trying to do the best you can.
If I call emergency services, I would like them to send a team who are appropriately trained with the right skills and the best tools to handle the situation that I am in.
I think a specialist team for crisis response is a great idea

Darwin January 14, 2022 at 8:21 PM

@Eric
👍🏼

Anonymous January 13, 2022 at 10:25 AM

This will not go as expected.

Will the 911 dispatcher make the decision as to who gets the call?

Caller: “Ice Bear is in my house and says he is going to kill us.”
911 Dispatcher: “Sending mental health team immediately.”
Mental health team arrives and guy dressed as Ice Bear shots them all.

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WC January 13, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Yeah. This will be terrific until some mental health responder gets shot or stabbed. Then the geniuses will wonder what happened.

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BORbeliever January 13, 2022 at 10:37 AM

Waiting for the massive lawsuit, along with finger pointing and recriminations, that will happen after the first “mental health professional” is killed out in the field responding to a “crisis situation.”

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T-rex January 13, 2022 at 10:43 AM

Great. So then the trained, but unarmed workers will get hit in the head by Miles Hall and his metal rod instead of getting shot to stop his threat of harm on others. So others will be hurt instead of the culprit. But it’s ok. At least police didn’t shoot him. That seems to be all that matters. Sounds like a good job to get into if you want to get hurt on the job and then win a lawsuit because the police did not show up to protect you or others when your “words” don’t work.

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Bruh January 13, 2022 at 10:46 AM

How about instead of trying to become a National model why don’t you just work on making things here better instead of trying to become a celebrity?

All these people want to become a National model this, world leading in that, blah blah blah they want to get the Obama treatment and be touted into tonight shows and crap because “look what I did” instead of working to just make this area better and being satisfied with that.

They haven’t learnt their lesson, and likely never will. This area is screwed until this current generation retires.

Not that the next generation will do any better because we just don’t know, but until this stranglehold the current generation of ages 60+ holds on just about every institution ends nothing will change. Across the board we see these people that should be retired making stupid decisions they won’t live to see the consequences of in 20-30 years and frankly they don’t care.

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Sign from Above January 13, 2022 at 11:54 AM

@ Bruh

It’s not an age or generational thing. It’s a Democrat thing. The vast majority of those out there screaming “Defund” and spewing their anti-police attitude are far younger than 60. It’s being done by the younger people with the “I deserve everything for free” mentality. Coincidently, those people align with the tax and spend, give everything for free Democratic Party.

Bruh January 13, 2022 at 2:31 PM

@sign from above

I do think this current generation of 60+ were the hippies/commies that decided in the 1960s to fight their war from the inside – they joined universities as faculty, joined government agencies and worked their way up, ran for office and worked their way to senator etc..

While everyone else was living their lives a generation of commies slipped into places they shouldn’t be.

I do believe alot the BS today is a direct result of the 1960s hippies and their war of subversion they started decades ago. Our proximity to Berkeley means we probably have a lot more commies in power than we realize, and until they start to die and retire nothing will change as they’re going to keep ruling with an iron fist until they get their way or become too old.

Dawg January 13, 2022 at 11:17 PM

@Bruh, The average age in congress and the senate is mid to late 50’s, and the average age of a hippie from the 60’s is early to mid 70’s. Also, the hippies that you call commies are Democrats.

American Citizen January 13, 2022 at 10:47 AM

Asa paramedic in this county for almost 30 years, this is a disaster. Many of these people are combative and potentially violent. This will not end well for the mental health professionals who enter these possibly dangerous situations.

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Anon January 13, 2022 at 10:50 AM

First of all, you’re an Imbecile if you think a counselor could have done Anything with Miles Hall who was on a rampage.

2nd, How soon will it be before these “first responders” are responding to so called ‘anti-vaxxers’?

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chuckie the troll January 13, 2022 at 2:17 PM

+2

Imagine all of the “anti-social” behavior Karen Mitchoff can address with these “professionals”. How many 72 hour holds will she impose before the public shuts its mouth and lets Her Highness do as she pleases without question?

MoJo January 13, 2022 at 10:53 AM

In the infamous words of Glum from Gulliver’s Travels- ” It will never work, we’re done for”. Will this program save the lives of some people who are having a mental health crisis? Maybe. Will this program cost the lives of some behavioral health specialists who respond to some of these incidents without the ability to protect themselves? Most certainly.

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Yoyohop January 13, 2022 at 10:55 AM

1 in 5 adults have behavioral health issues? Seems like a dubious statistic. Gaslight much?

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Ricardoh January 13, 2022 at 10:58 AM

That will work until the first health care worker gets shot. Not a job I would want.

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Sign from Above January 13, 2022 at 11:11 AM

This will work until the first mental health worker is killed, or the first innocent citizen is killed because the situation becomes more than the mental health worker can handle. Something does need to be done. However, this does not sound like a realistic cure.

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As it is January 14, 2022 at 1:52 AM

Poor miles. Nobody wishes death on anyone. Sad he lost his life, but it wasn’t the police’s fault. Bad parenting if you ask me. I like how the family called the police when they couldn’t control their son, then expect the cops to have magical powers. Miles was a menace in his community. His family would warn the neighbors anytime miles was having an episode. His family will play the victim, because John Burris prepped them.

Sign from Above January 14, 2022 at 8:38 AM

@ As It Is

I agree with most of what you said, especially the part about suing the police department. However, mental illness can not be attributed to “poor parenting.” If you’ve had any exposure to this, you’d know that as a parent or family member of an adult experiencing this, you have zero control over anything. Your are completely out of the loop with their care and you have no authority whatsoever to commit them. In many cases, all you can legally do is sit back and hope for the best. It’s an incredibly hard situation for the parents. But, it’s also not the fault of the police when things go terribly wrong as in the Miles Hall case.

Torcofuel January 13, 2022 at 11:55 AM

Oh here we go everybody’s going to be labeled a first responder I can see it coming so I’m gonna go ahead and label my grocery delivery guy, pizza delivery guy, Amazon delivery guy, FedEx UPS and so on they are first responders because they’re getting my stuff to me as I need it!

Everyone needs a friggin label I guess right apparently so

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ChuckStir January 13, 2022 at 11:59 AM

Would be best to send the mental health experts in with the police. They may be able to defuse the situation. Sending them in by themselves would be a mistake.

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DB January 13, 2022 at 2:39 PM

Completely agree! This would be the best response all the way around.

Armageddon Rex January 13, 2022 at 11:49 PM

The problem with sending in the mental health pros with law enforcement is the old crisis and military problem of no clear commander. If LE and mental health are there do they flip a coin to determine who takes the lead? If the subject is barking at the moon and unarmed then it might be clear but what happens when the subject has a pole? How about a rock? A pocket knife? A bottle?
Lack of clear command will cause uncertainty and hesitation. Sooner or later it will get one or more people killed

The Fearless Spectator January 13, 2022 at 12:14 PM

Just like feeding Christians to the Lions.

CCC officers better hedge their bet and not send in first responders of color. If one of them were killed by an insane Caucasian it would be most expensive indeed. Nationwide coverage too………

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To Do List January 13, 2022 at 12:44 PM

Funding and rich pensions seem to go with the classification of first responder. We should be more inclusive, and additionally fund first avoiders. I certainly would have avoided that guy running at me with a crowbar.

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Obamavirus January 13, 2022 at 1:26 PM

Chad Pierce and his public slur against the experience and professionalism of the police forces is a disgrace. A police officer has way more training and experience dealing with crisis than the kind of 20 something state college grads they are going to send out onto the streets.
This is the county mental health program managers idea of how to interact with the PD? How to work together? Wow…..
Roth again is trying to transform the county health system rather than doing her job and working to improve existing patient care which I think is much more urgent than the once a decade unfortunate police interaction with a mentally ill violent person.
When can we rid ourselves of these Marxist mental midgets?

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Original G January 13, 2022 at 2:27 PM

Have for years been entertained by mechanical and electrical engineers fresh outta college. Start by listening to them tell about school and their degrees. That’s when ya mention a thermometer also has degrees and not all of them are oral, for some it takes a while to process that.

Second thing happens is company gives them 12 – 20 people to manage, assign jobs to and supervise. After deer in the headlights look sets in ya pop the question, didn’t by chance think to minor in PSYCH did ya ? ? ?

These fresh outta college mental health professionals if smart, close their mouth and listen intently to those with years of experience.

There’s a reason new Deputy Sheriffs work Jails for a year or so, it’s to get to know those they’ll be dealing with. Incarceration facilities are now our major providers of mental health and do so at a HIGH cost to taxpayers, that needs to change.

Perhaps incident in WC might have ended differently IF there would have been, before escalation, a prior interaction with a mental health professional with Police on scene. It’s encounters before an out of control point when professionals could make a difference, perhaps saving lives. Officers encounter situations already at an out of control point when a mental health professional would be of little use.

Am privileged to know a man who worked into his 70s before retiring, who dedicated 50 years of his life to helping people. Began his career in CoCo juvenile facilities eventually opening a private practice working with individuals sent to him by both adult and juvenile probation departments as well as The Courts for impulse and anger issues, plus working with families. At his packed 70th birthday party held in a large hall, years ago, for over an hour person after person told of how he had helped them and their families.

That’s the kind of dedication and success we need more of.

ON DA January 13, 2022 at 3:46 PM

For your information sir most people suffering with mental health are non-violent. Quit perpetuating stigmas and by all means GET A LIFE !!!!

Anonymous January 13, 2022 at 4:01 PM

I’ll bet if you polled California police officers, for those who have a 4-year degree, the majority probably went to Cal State along with the mental health workers you appear to imply are less educated because they went to a state college.

I will agree that the police have more training and experience in dealing with crazies, especially in talking them down.

And if a crazy pulls a weapon, I expect the mental health workers will be DRT.

After a few mental heath workers are deaded, they will most likely insist on police escort, which will result in even more problems.

This is a stupid idea and it will fail.

Pyrrhus January 13, 2022 at 8:09 PM

@Anonymous

The problem is only about a third of officers have a degree. Also, police academy spends almost 4 times the amount in training with weapons than with de-escalation techniques. It takes 1000 hours of training to become a hairstylist in California. The minimum to become a police officers is 664 hours. Also, you’ll learn that future officers are taught to be scared of the public and to treat them like enemy combatants. The fact that they believe in a thin blue line shows how they view us. The sad thing is that an officer is 3 times more likely to kill himself than be killed in the line of duty. Being a Police officer isn’t even a top 10 most dangerous job in the US, not even top 20, it clocks in at 22. It’s on par with maintenance workers, construction workers, and heavy vehicle mechanics.

Compared to every other modern western country our officers are poorly trained. There needs to be a shift in what we expect from our officers. They should be highly trained, well educated, and be taken care of mentally. They need to rebuild their reputation with the public especially in minority communities.

Original G January 13, 2022 at 11:16 PM

ON DA, … I agree, there is an invisible non violent majority and Police probably will never interact with them. People remember incidents involving mental health issues and Police that register on the news cycle.

Somehow people need to be convinced there is nothing wrong in seeking mental health help as readily as they would help for physical injuries.

Over past 40 years have dealt with many people who attempted to self medicate their, dis ease with life, using alcohol.

Chicken Little January 14, 2022 at 6:35 AM

@ON DA,
I’m pretty sure the non-violent mentally ill folks are not the ones currently generating the bulk of the emergency calls to the police.

parent January 14, 2022 at 6:51 AM

@Pyrrhus

And your thought that police need to rebuild their reputation is what is wrong with a lot of people today. It is not the police that need to soley rebuild their reputation, but moreso that the people need to learn to RESPECT authority. People who sit there and treat someone doing their job with zero respect .. what do you expect the officer to do? They have asked. They asked nicely .. they ask with a please … when does the officer just quit asking and force them to comply?

Anonymous January 14, 2022 at 9:52 AM

@Pyrrhus Perhaps if certain members of minority groups were not so violent they would have no interaction with police at all, like everyone else in this country.

I agree with your statement that police need to “rebuild their reputation with the public,” but only insomuch as they need to do their job, regardless of what the local mayor orders them to do. They can’t expect to just stand there and watch the Marxists of Antifa and BLM commit acts of assault and arson and expect any respect at all from the public. My respect for police is at an all-time low because of their choice to selectively enforce the laws in such a way that minorities and Marxists came out on top during the BLM riots.

As far as minority communities, if they want respect from law enforcement they should offer it in return. But it’s never their fault, right?

Original G January 13, 2022 at 1:38 PM

FINALLY ! ! !
A step in right direction, sincerely hope this program is a success and reduces level of violence in our communities resulting from untreated mental health issues.

It’s not unusual after a seemingly senseless act of violence makes news cycle we learn, as with death at Clayton Post Office years ago, that the attacker was “known to law enforcement”.

For decades our first responders (Police) have been forced to repeatedly deal with individuals with mental health and/or self medication issues. Sometimes with escalating levels of irrational and sometimes aggressive behavior and could do little, until, they achieved a high enough level of violence resulting in injury or death of an innocent finally getting them into “the system”.

Wish the norm in our society was one where mental health problems are routinely thought of without stigma and dealt with as a sprained ankle or a broken bone would be, by seeking professional help.

Mark,
Do wonder if congress will ever attempt to repair 58 plus years of damaging effects from Community Mental Health Act passed in 1963 by 88th DEM controlled congress with a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate . Resulted across the nation in a 90 percent cut at state hospitals and accelerated deinstitutionalization of patients, dumping them into communities, often lacking both expertise and facilities to deal with them. Perhaps after pelosi in 2023 ? ? ?
https://tinyurl.com/zjamdu93

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That One Teacher January 13, 2022 at 1:47 PM

An alternative is creating, promoting, and sustaining effecting mental health programs and add comprehensive and consistent mental health curriculum starting in early grades thus mitigating the need for mental health responders to act in crisis situations, but y’all and your tax dollars are not ready for that conversation. Too “woke” I guess for y’all.

And before you come after me and say I’m soft, bring a solution to the table. All y’all do is complain.

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Sign from Above January 14, 2022 at 8:56 AM

@ teacher

Here we go again, if you don’t believe what I believe you are whining and complaining!

“and add comprehensive and consistent mental health curriculum starting in early grades thus mitigating the need for mental health responders to act”

Ahhhh, No! You can’t teach a young child to not have a mental health issue! As good as teachers are, you not quite that good yet!

Of course “creating, promoting and sustaining and effecting mental health programs” would be an alternative. That’s exactly what needs to be done and that’s where our politicians need to put their efforts. However, stating that is not a solution in and of itself. Finding a way to get it done would be a solution.

This is a poor solution that is going to get well-intending people injured or killed. That’s what people on this thread are “whining” about. If you think otherwise, I strongly encourage you to apply for one of these positions. Stand up and stand behind your opinions!

To Do List January 14, 2022 at 9:54 AM

Mr. Teacher, your remedy is based on the assumption that the weak link is how students are processing the information they get. Perhaps their processing is normal, and the information they are receiving is abnormal. Maybe that is what should be changed. Students are fed a very unhealthy diet of political division and incompetently presented ideas on race in the schools, as well as having our politicians and media maximizing hate and conflict. Instead of pointing at the students, perhaps the teachers as thought leaders should speak out in rejection of political indoctrination in our schools and the tactics of current figures in politics such as Biden yesterday claiming if you disagree with him, you are racist and just like George Wallace. How about a class discussion on his tactics, whether the ends justify the means, and what the consequences are of demonizing others. Just a thought.

Led January 14, 2022 at 2:24 PM

Got any evidence that elementary curriculum can prevent mental health issues!? That sounds pretty silly, if you ask me. Talking to kindergarten kids about mindfulness is not gonna prevent schizophrenia down the road. Get serious.

chuckie the troll January 13, 2022 at 2:12 PM

Instead of a gun and taser, they will be armed with Prozac and medical marijuana.

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Chris January 13, 2022 at 2:48 PM

Whether you like this idea or not, this will be the new normal in policing. I’ve seen it work first-hand in Austin, TX Sanat Cruz, CA Eugene, OR. It’s not the magic bullet, but if it keeps cities from paying out unjustifiable millions to the Ghetto Lottery, then I’m all for a trial plan.

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Bob January 13, 2022 at 2:56 PM

Ummmmmmm, wasn’t Miles Hall white???

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Rolaids January 13, 2022 at 3:01 PM

It pains me to make a cartoonish characterization about somebody’s son that met a violent death, but this was literally a young, athletic lunatic running through the neighborhood with a weapon. We can all Monday morning quarterback the police response, but I can’t honestly say I would have shown any more restraint if I was in their shoes. Unfortunately, this type of situation is why we have armed police, in case there is a lunatic running around endangering the public with a weapon. I feel bad for the family, and I feel bad for the WCPD. I applaud the police for releasing ALL the body cam footage. I don’t agree with the large settlement the family received.

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The Fearless Spectator January 13, 2022 at 6:11 PM

And yet in my neighborhood a few people continue to post “Justice for Miles Hall” signage in their front yards. Either they believe a few million is not enough, or it’s just their attempt to avoid having their house robbed. Either way it seems disingenuous at best.

Darwin January 13, 2022 at 7:19 PM

👍🏼

Darwin January 13, 2022 at 7:37 PM

@Fearless Spectator
You must live on Morello Avenue.

Janus January 13, 2022 at 5:52 PM

With 28 years of California law enforcement experience I think I am qualified to talk about this issue.

I can honestly say, peace officers are the worst option to send to calls for service for people with mental health issues… until you compare us to all the other options available.

This new “3A” group will be great so long as there is no threat of violence or danger to self or others. As soon as there is a whiff of non-compliance or there is a history of violence with the subject 3A is going to request the police respond. 3A will use the police for muscle to force the 5150 W&I and who among us would blame them?

If another Miles Hall incident happens after 3A comes on line it will not be 3A that takes the lead, it will be the police. Social workers/Mental health workers do not have the skills, training, equipment or statutory protection (both criminal and civil) to deal with someone who is violent or non-compliant. They are not going to use force, which is unfortunately sometimes required, to get people on a gurney and strapped down for their own protection.

You cannot rationally talk someone on to a gurney and into restrains who is irrational, psychotic, incoherent, delusional, hallucinating, schizophrenic or any other verbs or adjectives you can string together to describe someone who is having a serious mental health break from reality.

Seemingly benign mental heath calls can go sideways in an instant and It is only a matter of time before someone on 3A gets seriously injured or killed.

I wish 3A all luck because you are going to need it.

PS: The county has tried this before. The problem was this “Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime” turned into “Anytime” so long as it was Monday-Friday 10 AM – 4:30 PM excluding holidays, vacations, training days or conferences and “Anywhere” so long as it was in central county near Martinez. Maybe this time it will be different.

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Sam January 13, 2022 at 7:34 PM

We didn’t vote on this and will these people swear an oath to the constitution?

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vindex January 13, 2022 at 10:46 PM

Mark my words… The CCC Supervisors are going to get Mental Health Professionals killed with this initiative. Can we have a more incompetent Board of Supervisors?

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Sign from Above January 14, 2022 at 7:27 AM

And our mental health staff have done so well in the past. Psychiatrist at the county hospital are known for releasing people back onto the streets when they shouldn’t. Think back to the case of Jordy the little boy in Discovery Bay several years back. His murderer had turned himself in fearing he was going to hurt someone. The doctors, with all their wisdom and education, decided hours later that he wasn’t a risk and let him go. He went directly to his friends home and killed the boy. There are also several documented cases of psychiatrists releasing people early who were on 72 hour mental health hold, even though the hold is a MANDATORY 72-HOUR HOLD. Many have gone on to hurt themselves or others. The county’s mental health system is far from perfect. I don’t really trust their discretion when deciding who and when to commit when dealing with a violent subject!

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anon January 14, 2022 at 7:54 AM

“young African-American man shot to death by Walnut Creek police in 2019 while having a mental health emergency in front of his family’s home.”

Play the race card much ??
The PD cleared the Officers
The DA cleared the Officers

The woke City Council gave the family $4,000,000 as the Mother was in front of the PD & went to City Council meetings for months & months yelling – why did she not have him committed in an institution ??. The 5 ultra liberal city council members bent over on the lawsuit. What a joke. If Miles had been 100% white–what would have happened then – $4.00 ??

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The Fearless Spectator January 14, 2022 at 1:21 PM

It’s a lose/lose for the Police. If officers hadn’t acted quickly and this guy killed a family member before they shot him, the $4,000,000 would have gone out anyway.

Imagine the scene replayed sending in a mental health counselor and he/she was murdered, and then the Police killed the suspect. Then Lawyers would converge from both families and the city would write TWO large checks. Then the Counselor’s family would also sue the mental guy’s family. I don’t believe this new plan is well thought out.

Cellophane January 14, 2022 at 11:14 AM

I hope that the Mental Health Professionals get full body armor.

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Tired January 14, 2022 at 12:14 PM

One more reason to rely on yourself for home defense.

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Led January 14, 2022 at 2:20 PM

This might actually be a good idea, but it is definitely not going to change the fact that police need to be there when someone unstable has a weapon or is using an object effectively as a weapon. This is probably not going to change a Miles Hall situation at all. It *might* improve lower-level interactions that we never hear about because nobody got killed.

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Kentucky Derby January 14, 2022 at 5:51 PM

The severely mentally ill need to be committed to an institution. Anything else is a crap shoot. Whether it’s the police or mental health professionals as first responders. Mental health professionals know how to deal with the mentally ill, but what if it gets violent? Then what?

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